ORNL/CON-295

OAK RIDGE NATIONAL LABORATORY

Builder’s Foundation Handbook
John Carmody Jeffrey Christian Kenneth Labs

Part of the National Program for Building Thermal Envelope Systems and Materials Prepared for the U.S. Departmet of Energy Conservation and Renewable Energy Office of Buildings and Community Systems Building Systems Division

MANAGED BY MARTIN MARIETTA ENERGY SYSTEMS, INC. FOR THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

This report has been reproduced directly from the best available copy. Available to DOE and DOE contractors from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information, P.O. Box 62, Oak Ridge, TN 37831; prices available from (615) 576-8401, FTS 626-8401. Available to the public from the National Technical Information Service, U.S. Department of Commerce, 5285 Port Royal Rd., Springfield, VA 22161.

This report was prepared as an account of work sponsored by an agency of the United States Government. Neither the United States Government nor any agency thereof, nor any of their employees, makes any warranty, express or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed, or represents that its use would not infringe privately owned rights. Reference herein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the United States Government or any agency thereof. The views and opinions of authors expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the United States Government or any agency thereof.

Builder’s Foundation Handbook
John Carmody
Underground Space Center University of Minnesota

Jeffrey Christian
Oak Ridge National Laboratory Oak Ridge, Tennessee

Kenneth Labs
Undercurrent Design Research New Haven, Connecticutt

Book Design and Illustrations: John Carmody Date of Publication: May, 1991 Prepared for: Oak Ridge National Laboratory Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831 Operated by: Martin Marietta Energy Systems, Inc. for the U. S. Department of Energy under Contract DE-AC05-84OR21400

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Benefits of Foundation Insulation and Other Design Improvements The impact of slab-on-grade foundation insulation is monitored in a test facility at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.List of Figures and Tables Chapter 1 Figures Figure 1-1: Figure 1-2: Figure 1-3: Figure 1-4: Figure 1-5: Figure 1-6: The impact of basement insulation is monitored on several modules at the foundation test facility at the University of Minnesota. Decision-Making Process for Foundation Design Basic Foundation Types Points of Radon Entry into Buildings Chapter 2 Figures Figure 2-1: Figure 2-2: Figure 2-3: Figure 2-4: Figure 2-5: Figure 2-6: Figure 2-7: Figure 2-8: Figure 2-9: Figure 2-10: Figure 2-11: Figure 2-12: Figure 2-13: Concrete Masonry Basement Wall with Exterior Insulation Components of Basement Structural System Components of Basement Drainage and Waterproofing Systems Termite Control Techniques for Basements Radon Control Techniques for Basements Soil Gas Collection and Discharge Techniques System of Key Numbers in Construction Drawings that Refer to Notes on Following Pages Concrete Basement Wall with Exterior Insulation Concrete Basement Wall with Exterior Insulation Masonry Basement Wall with Exterior Insulation Concrete Basement Wall with Interior Insulation Concrete Basement Wall with Ceiling Insulation Pressure-Preservative-Treated Wood Basement Wall Chapter 3 Figures Figure 3-1: Figure 3-2: Figure 3-3: Figure 3-4: Figure 3-5: Figure 3-6: Figure 3-7: Concrete Crawl Space Wall with Exterior Insulation Components of Crawl Space Structural System Crawl Space Drainage Techniques Crawl Space Drainage Techniques Termite Control Techniques for Crawl Spaces Radon Control Techniques for Crawl Spaces System of Key Numbers in Construction Drawings that Refer to Notes on Following Pages Figure 3-8: Vented Crawl Space Wall with Ceiling Insulation Figure 3-9: Unvented Crawl Space Wall with Exterior Insulation Figure 3-10: Unvented Crawl Space Wall with Interior Insulation Figure 3-11: Unvented Crawl Space Wall with Interior Insulation Builder’s Foundation Handbook Page v .

Chapter 4 Figures Figure 4-1: Figure 4-2: Figure 4-3: Figure 4-4: Figure 4-5: Figure 4-6: Figure 4-7: Figure 4-8: Figure 4-9: Figure 4-10: Figure 4-10: Figure 4-12: Figure 4-13: Figure 4-14: Figure 4-15: Figure 4-16: Slab-on-Grade Foundation with Exterior Insulation Structural Components of Slab-on-Grade Foundation with Grade Beam Structural Components of Slab-on-Grade Foundation with Stem Wall and Footing Drainage Techniques for Slab-on-Grade Foundations Termite Control Techniques for Slab-on-Grade Foundations Radon Control Techniques for Slab-on-Grade Foundations Soil Gas Collection and Discharge Techniques System of Key Numbers in Construction Drawings that Refer to Notes on Following Pages Slab-on-Grade with Integral Grade Beam (Exterior Insulation) Slab-on-Grade with Brick Veneer (Exterior Insulation) Slab-on-Grade with Brick Veneer (Exterior Insulation Slab-on-Grade with Masonry Wall (Exterior Insulation)) Slab-on-Grade with Concrete Wall (Insulation Under Slab) Slab-on-Grade with Masonry Wall (Insulation Under Slab) Slab-on-Grade with Masonry Wall (Interior Insulation) Slab-on-Grade with Brick Veneer (Insulation Under Slab) Chapter 5 Figures Figure 5-1: Figure 5-2: Figure 5-3: Steps in Worksheet to Determine Optimal Foundation Insulation Formulas Used as a Basis for Worksheet 1 Formulas Used as a Basis for Worksheet 3 Chapter 2 Tables Table 2-1: Insulation Recommendations for Fully Conditioned Deep Basements Table 2-2: Insulation Recommendations for Unconditioned Deep Basements Table 2-3: Fuel Price Levels Used to Develop Recommended Insulation Levels in Tables 21 and 2-2 Chapter 3 Tables Table 3-1: Insulation Recommendations for Crawl Spaces Table 3-2: Fuel Price Levels Used to Develop Recommended Insulation Levels in Table 3-1 Chapter 4 Tables Table 4-1: Insulation Recommendations for Slab-on-Grade Foundations Table 4-2: Fuel Price Levels Used to Develop Recommended Insulation Levels in Table 4-1 Chapter 5 Tables Table 5-1: Table 5-2: Table 5-2: Table 5-3: Table 5-4: Table 5-5: Table 5-6: Table 5-7: Table 5-8: Table 5-8: Table 5-10: Table 5-11: Page vi Weather Data for Selected Cities (page 1 of 2) Insulation R-Values and Costs for Conditioned Basements (page 1 of 4) Insulation R-Values and Costs for Slab-on-Grade Foundations (page 4 of 4) Heating Load Factor Coefficients (HLFI and HLFS) Cooling Load Factor Coefficients (CLFI and CLFS) Initial Effective R-values for Uninsulated Foundation System and Adjacent Soil Heating and Cooling Equipment Seasonal Efficiencies1 Scalar Ratios for Various Economic Criteria Energy Cost Savings and Simple Paybacks for Conditioned Basements Energy Cost Savings and Simple Paybacks for Conditioned Basements Energy Cost Savings and Simple Paybacks for Crawl Space Foundations Energy Cost Savings and Simple Paybacks for Slab-on-Grade Foundations .

The major objective of this research is to work with builders. climate. and foundations on every building. insulation cost. Department of Energy Building Envelope Systems and Materials (BTESM) Research Program centered at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. and other economic considerations. Box 2008 Building 3147 MS 6070 Oak Ridge. The construction details are accompanied by critical design information useful for specifying structural integrity. These checklists have been found to be very useful during the design stage and could be very useful during construction inspection. termite. Since that time several significant national codes have adopted foundation insulation levels based on research results from this program. Several states have adopted the Model Energy Code into their building inspection programs including Iowa and Utah. This handbook contains construction details representative of good practices for the design and installation of energy efficient basement. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Minimum Property Standard also looks as if it is going to adopt these foundation insulation recommendations. contractors. For example. HVAC equipment.Preface This handbook is a product of the U. waterproofing.S. crawl space. TN 37831-6070 Page vii . decay.O. the Council of American Building Officials Model Energy Code Committee accepted an upgrade to more energy efficient foundations. In October 1988. Please send me your comments and suggestions for improving future editions. mildew. one suggestion was to add a detail showing how to insulate a slab-on-grade foundation supporting an above-grade wall with brick veneer. This handbook is one of a dozen tools produced from the BTESM Program aimed at relevant design information in a usable form during the decision-making process. The Builder’s Foundation Handbook contains a worksheet (Chapter 5) to help select insulation levels based on specific building construction. I asked for comments on how to improve future editions. and radon control strategies. In the preface to the Building Foundation Design Handbook published in 1988. I welcome your response to this handbook. The first foundation handbook from the BTESM program—the Building Foundation Design Handbook—was released to the public in May 1988. and slab-on-grade foundations. and slab Builder’s Foundation Handbook (Chapter 4). crawl space (Chapter 3). odor. thermal and vapor controls. residential building industry. Foundation insulation is gaining acceptance in the U. This worksheet permits you to select the optimal insulation level for new and retrofit applications. Another useful feature is a checklist which summarizes the major design considerations for each foundation type—basement (Chapter 2). The material contained in this handbook represents suggestions from a diverse group of knowledgeable foundation experts and will help guide the builder to foundation systems that are easily constructed and that have worked for others in the past.S. roofs. Moisture and indoor air quality problems caused by faulty foundation design and construction continue to grow in importance. Jeffrey E. and mold. and will work for you in the future. This detail appears as Figure 4-10. Most of the suggestions received have been incorporated into this version. Christian Oak Ridge National Laboratory P. and building owners to facilitate the reality of cost-effective energy efficient walls. subsurface drainage.

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Yu Joe Huang. directed at builders. Dow Chemical. U. It was recognized that after development of a more comprehensive design manual. the Building Foundation Design Handbook (Labs. Building Science Engineering. Douglas Bowers. Mark Feirer. Sam Taylor also insisted on a high quality book with an inviting format to better convey the important messages contained in all this fine print. The handbook was graciously reviewed and enhanced by a number of foundation experts. John Daugherty. Bob Wendt. Joe Lstiburek. Peter Billings. National Forest Products Association. Department of Energy. Steven Bliss. Owens-Corning Fiberglas. Construction Technology Laboratories. Energy Design Update. National Ready Mix Contractor Association. Department of Housing.. it would be desirable to condense the pertinent information into a handbook for builders. National Association of Home Builders/National Research Center. et al. Environmental Protection Agency. In particular we acknowledge the contributions of the following authors of the original book: Raymond Sterling. Inc. J. Journal of Light Construction.S. from which most of the material in this handbook is drawn. All of the drawings and the graphic design of the handbook were done by John Carmody of the Underground Space Center at the University of Minnesota. Ron Graves.S. Fine Homebuilding. Roy Davis and Pat Rynd. 1988). UC Industries. The authors appreciate the contribution of Pam Snopl who edited the final manuscript. Donald Fairman and William Freeborne. Martha Van Geem.Acknowledgments This handbook. Funding support for this report came from Sam Taylor and John Goldsmith at the U. Jon Mullarky and Jim Roseberg. Mark Kelly.D. and Danny Parker. The authors are grateful to all those who participated in the development of the earlier Building Foundation Design Handbook. Builder’s Foundation Handbook Page ix . and Tom Greeley. Ned Nisson. Geotech. Phil Hendrickson. grew from a “brain storming” session including representatives from the research and building communities back in 1987. Several of the reviewers provided lengthy lists of constructive suggestions: Don Leubs. Lester Shen. Oak Ridge National Laboratory. BASF Corporation. Dave Murane. Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

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and engineers. and radon control strategies. This handbook is intended to serve the needs of active home builders. and slab-on-grade foundations are the focal point of the handbook. Builder’s Foundation Handbook Page xi . concise format. which is an extensive technical reference manual. insulation cost. the Building Foundation Design Handbook (Labs et al.. These checklist summaries are useful during design and construction inspection. however. crawl space. climate. decay. the information is pertinent to anyone involved in foundation design and construction decisions including homeowners. architects. The information in this handbook is drawn heavily from the first foundation handbook from the DOE/ORNL Building Envelope Systems and Materials Program.Abstract This handbook contains a worksheet for selecting insulation levels based on specific building construction. and other economic considerations. Construction details representing good practices for the design and installation of energy efficient basement. and slab-on-grade. waterproofing. subsurface drainage. 1988). thermal and vapor control. odor. The construction details are keyed to lists of critical design information useful for specifying structural integrity. This book presents “what to do in foundation design” in an inviting. Another useful feature are checklist chapter summaries covering major design considerations for each foundation type-basement. and mold. termite. crawl space. The worksheet permits optimization of foundation insulation levels for new or retrofit applications. mildew. HVAC equipment.

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The organization and Figure 1-1: The impact of basement insulation is monitored on several modules at the foundation test facility at the University of Minnesota. but also providing effective structural design as well as moisture.CHAPTER 1 Introduction to Foundation Design The foundation of a house is a somewhat invisible and sometimes ignored component of the building.1 explains the practical and economic advantages of good foundation design. however. Section 1. builders. and homeowners to understand foundation design problems and solutions. and radon control techniques where appropriate. that attention to good foundation design and construction has significant benefits to the homeowner and the builder. The purpose of this handbook is to provide information that will enable designers. termite. This chapter provides the general background and introduction to foundation design issues. and can avoid some serious future problems. It is increasingly evident. Good foundation design and construction practice means not only insulating to save energy. Builder’s Foundation Handbook Page 1 .

1.2. AND STRUCTURAL PROBLEMS AVOIDANCE OF HEALTH-RELATED EFFECTS OF SOIL GAS Figure 1-2: Benefits of Foundation Insulation and Other Design Improvements The primary reason behind the current interest in foundation design and construction is related to energy conservation. with rising energy costs. crawl space. COMFORTABLE BELOW-GRADE SPACES The Benefits of Foundation Insulation AVOIDANCE OF COSTLY MOISTURE. a special introduction to radon appears in section 1. While many aspects of foundation design and construction are known to some extent. All these potential advantages are selling points and can help builders avoid costly callbacks. Section 1. • More comfortable above-grade space is created. In the past. energy-efficient homes that will provide the most comfort for their families at a reasonable price. CREATION OF MORE USABLE. although in some areas radon control is also a primary concern.4. and knowledge about techniques to control it are just emerging. • Potentially costly future moisture. This chapter is intended to set the stage for the more detailed information found in chapters 2 through 5.3 discusses the considerations that affect choosing a foundation type.scope of this handbook is described in section 1. there must be a basic decision about the type of foundation to be used— basement. Because radon represents a potentially major health hazard. and even structural problems can be avoided. Today's prospective home buyers are increasingly demanding healthy. Home buyers want a home they can not only afford to buy—they want one they can also afford to live in. TERMITE. truly comfortable conditions in below-grade space are created. Home builders and code officials have Chapter 1—Introduction to Foundation Design Page 2 . operating expenses are also a prime consideration and exert a major influence upon the more educated home buyer’s decision. • For houses with basements. there is one major concern that is relatively new— controlling radon. termite. the initial cost and the monthly mortgage payment were the critical criteria considered. or slab-on-grade. REDUCTION IN HOMEOWNER'S UTILITY BILLS • Potentially serious health-related effects of soil gas can be avoided. Now.1 Benefits of Effective Foundation Design CREATION OF MORE COMFORTABLE ABOVE-GRADE SPACES The practical and economic advantages of following the recommended practices in this handbook are: • Homeowners' utility bills are reduced. Before proceeding with solving design and problems.

several research activities are proceeding. climates (those with over 2500 heating degree days). initially responded to these desires by providing more thermal insulation in the above-grade portions of the home. prevent water and moisture problems. good foundation design must be structurally sound. thus improving comfort as well as reducing energy use. Insulating basement foundations creates more comfortable conditions in below-grade space as well. insulating any type of foundation is likely to result in warmer floors during winter in above-grade spaces. thus minimizing problems with mold and mildew. The Page 3 . and at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (Figure 1-3). Attention to the foundation has lagged for the most part. the general awareness of healthoriented.S. energy-efficient foundation construction practices has increased in the United States. For example. In 1989-90 several national building energy codes and standards were revised to recommend foundation insulation in moderate to cold U. Two notable projects are the foundation test Builder’s Foundation Handbook facilities located at the University of Minnesota (Figure 1-1). Uninsulated foundations no longer represent 10 to 15 percent of a poorly insulated building’s total heat loss. making it more usable for a variety of purposes at a relatively low cost. instead.Figure 1-3: The impact of slab-on-grade foundation insulation is monitored in a test facility at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. In addition to energy conservation and thermal comfort. Raising basement temperatures by using insulation can also reduce condensation. Lately however. conditioned basement may represent up to 50 percent of the heat loss in a tightly sealed house that is well insulated above grade. with most effort focused primarily on a foundation's structural adequacy. Other Foundation Design Issues While saving energy may be the primary reason for understanding good foundation design practices. an uninsulated. there are other related benefits. and control termites and radon where appropriate. In order to develop a better understanding of the impact of foundation insulation and provide information to the building industry and the public.

All of these potential side effects can be avoided if recommended practices are followed. subdrainage. it must be decided whether the below grade space be heated and/or cooled.MASONRY .BASEMENT . if it is a basement foundation.CRAWL SPACE . If radon is present.STRUCTURAL . These decisions are determined by regional. and termite damage prevention. radon control. moisture can degrade foundation insulation and other moisture problems can actually be created. waterproofing. Without properly installing vapor barriers and adequate air sealing.2 Organization and Scope of the Handbook Residential foundations can be constructed which reduce energy consumption without creating health.DETERMINE FOUNDATION TYPE: . one must determine the foundation type and construction to be used. Considerations related to choosing a foundation type are discussed Chapter 1—Introduction to Foundation Design FINALIZE CONSTRUCTION DOCUMENTS AND ESTABLISH QUALITY CONTROL INSPECTION PROCEDURES Figure 1-4: Decision-Making Process for Foundation Design Page 4 . structural. Insulating and sealing a foundation to save energy results in a tighter building with less infiltration.VERTICAL / HORIZONTAL .INSULATION / THERMAL . Improperly installed foundation insulation may also provide entry paths for termites. and sitespecific factors as well as individual or market preference. DETERMINE AMOUNT OF INSULATION DEVELOP CONSTRUCTION DETAILS: . it can accumulate and reach higher levels in the building than if greater outside air exchange was occurring.DRAINAGE AND WATERPROOFING . radon. First.RADON CONTROL Handbook Organization The book is organized in a manner that reflects the decision-making process used by a designer. structural requirements.CONCRETE . and (2) to provide information and construction details concerning thermal protection.SLAB-ON-GRADE DETERMINE USE OF BASEMENT: .WITHIN STRUCTURE (WOOD JOISTS OR STUDS) 1.INTERIOR / EXTERIOR . The two basic purposes of this handbook are (1) to provide simplified methods for estimating the sitespecific energy savings and cost-effectiveness of foundation insulation measures. Under certain circumstances the structural integrity of a foundation can be negatively affected by insulation when water control is not adequate. or homeowner dealing with foundation design questions (see Figure 1-4). Then. DETERMINE INSULATION PLACEMENT: . builder.WOOD importance of these issues increases with an energy-efficient design because there are some potential problems caused by incorrect insulating practices.TERMITE CONTROL . local. moisture.HEATED / COOLED .UNCONDITIONED DETERMINE CONSTRUCTION SYSTEM: . or other foundation-related problems.

(3) distinct insulation recommendations for several subcategories of insulation placement (i. While this book does not provide exact construction documents. Scope of the Handbook The information presented in this handbook pertains mostly to new residential construction and small commercial buildings. and procedures. Chapter 5 provides an alternative method for determining the costeffectiveness of foundation insulation. In the first section of chapters 2. if the assumptions underlying the recommended insulation levels in chapters 2. the last section in chapters 2.e. a more extensive technical reference manual on foundation design. The handbook covers all three basic foundation types — basement. the information is pertinent to anyone involved in foundation design and construction decisions including homeowners as well as architects and engineers looking for information in a more concise and updated form. Builder’s Foundation Handbook Page 5 . but this book is one of the few resources that attempts to address the overall integration of a number of systems. (2) simplified tables of recommended insulation levels in chapters 2. Therefore. The original handbook was intended for architects and engineers. interior. The first book explained not only what to do in foundation design but also much of the technical rationale behind the recommendations. 3. The second section summarizes general principles of structural design. and includes a few additions and improvements to the original handbook.later in chapter 1. 3. Each of these chapters is organized into four parts. After selecting a foundation type. Often information exists related to a particular building material or product. chapter 3 for crawl spaces. While this handbook does not include the technical reference information of the original book. This worksheet helps select the optimal level of foundation insulation for site-specific new or retrofit construction. and economic decision criteria can be chosen such as 20-year minimum life cycle cost (suggested for retrofit) or 30-year minimum life cycle cost (suggested for new construction). These construction details can be adapted to fit a unique site or building condition. Relation to the Previous Handbook The information in this handbook is drawn mainly from the Building Foundation Design Handbook (Labs et al. and 4 is a checklist to be used during design and construction. exterior. and 4. The intention of this book is to provide the tools to help people make decisions about foundation design. Finally.. it provides the basic framework and fundamental information needed to create these documents. specifications. and 4 do not correspond to local conditions. they cannot easily be adapted to reflect other costs and conditions. While these tables of recommendations are easy to use and provide good general guidelines. while this handbook is intended to serve builders. While the intended audience for this book is clearly home builders. as well as radon and termite control techniques. Conventional foundation systems of cast-in-place concrete or concrete block masonry are emphasized. Within each construction drawing are labels that contain numbers within boxes that refer to notes listed at the end of this section.. it is strongly recommended that the user fill out the worksheet provided in chapter 5. and chapter 4 for slab-on-grade foundations. notable additions to this version are: (1) the worksheet in chapter 5 which permits energy use calculations based on individual parameters. and 4. The first section of each chapter helps you select a cost-effective insulation placement and amount for a particular climate. drainage and waterproofing. The first chapter also includes introductory information on some general concerns that pertain to all foundation types. proceed to the corresponding chapter: chapter 2 for basements. These are based on average construction costs and representative energy prices for natural gas and electricity. This book presents what to do in foundation design in a more concise format. 3. crawl space. insulation levels are recommended for each foundation type using a 30-year minimum life cycle cost analysis for several climatic regions in the United States. 3. although pressure-preservative-treated wood foundations are also addressed. 1988). Local energy prices and construction costs can be used in the calculation. and slab-on-grade. This is followed by a series of alternative construction details illustrating the integration of the major concerns involved in foundation design.

and within wall insulation for basements). The presence of expansive clay soils on a site requires special techniques to avoid foundation movement and significant structural damage. special variations of the typical foundation types may be appropriate. and various masonry systems. the foundation at the base of a building can be raised above the ground plane. crawl space. Often. radon. although a shallower footing can sometimes be used depending on soil type. however. a walkout basement combines a basement foundation wall on the uphill side. cast-inplace concrete sandwich panels. Although it is not usually a major aesthetic element. There are several construction systems from which to choose for each foundation type. A water table depth within 8 feet of the surface will likely make a basement foundation undesirable. and (5) drawings that have been revised or replaced. the climate. a slab-ongrade foundation on the downhill side. the original Building Foundation Design Handbook represents a valuable resource for detailed technical information not found in this book. the foundation wall of a crawl space or basement can vary considerably from almost no exposure to full exposure above grade. buildings placed on sites with expansive clay require pile foundations extending down to stable soil strata or bedrock. and local market preferences as well as construction costs. sites with bedrock near the surface require special foundation techniques. In colder climates. termite and moisture or water control requirements. thermal. deeper cast-in-place concrete walls and concrete block walls are more common. Climate The preference of foundation type varies with climatic region. Any foundation type can be used on a flat site. soil type. a sloping site often necessitates the use of a walkout basement or crawl space. 1. In spite of these improvements. Of course. and depth of bedrock can all affect the choice of a Page 6 . so the foundation wall materials can affect the overall appearance. and insulation placement. Expensive bedrock excavation is not required to reach frost depth nor is it economically justifiable to create basement space. actual houses may include combinations of these types. and waterproofing may not be feasible or may be too costly. A slab-on-grade construction with an integral concrete grade beam at the slab edge is common in climates with a shallow frost depth. Overall Building Design The foundation type and construction system are chosen in part because of appearance factors. groundwater conditions. although examples of most types can generally be found in any given region. A water table near the surface generally restricts the design to a slab-on-grade or crawl space foundation. Factors affecting the choice of foundation type and construction system include site conditions. Most of the foundation types and construction systems described above can be designed to meet necessary structural. The most common systems. can be used for all four basic foundation types. One of the principal factors behind foundation preference is the impact of frost depth on foundation design. A building with a slabon-grade foundation has little visible foundation. and slab-ongrade—are shown in Figure 1-5. presence of radon. These factors are discussed below. however. water table location. Similarly. and partially bermed foundation walls on the remaining two sides.ceiling. precast concrete foundation walls. foundation type. In these unusual conditions of expansive clay soils or bedrock near the surface. 1988). Other systems include pressure-preservative-treated wood foundations. Information on a fourth type of foundation—the shallow or half-bermed basement—can be found in the Building Foundation Design Handbook (Labs et al. overall building design.3 Foundation Type and Construction System The three basic types of foundations— full basement. The Chapter 1—Introduction to Foundation Design Site Conditions The topography. cast-inplace concrete and concrete block foundation walls. On steeper slopes. masonry or concrete piers. (4) construction practice notes linked to the drawings. Lowering the water table with drainage and pumping usually cannot be justified.

In these areas. For example. In other regions. For example. Because a foundation wall extending to a substantial depth is required in northern climates. These market influences are based not only on cost but also on the area’s tradition. Because they have the concrete forms and the required experience with this system and because bidding is very competitive. a cast-inplace concrete system may be less competitive economically because fewer contractors are available. in certain regions there are many contractors specializing in cast-in-place concrete foundation walls. which in turn makes these systems more cost-effective choices. In a southern climate the incremental first cost of creating a basement is greater when compared with a slab-ongrade with no significant required footing depth. a footing in Minnesota must be at least 42 inches below the surface. however. Of course. Virtually any foundation type and construction system can be built in any location in the United States. while in states along the Gulf Coast. then builders generally provide them. The relative costs. region expect basements. These more subjective market factors and regional preferences tend to increase the availability of materials and contractors for the preferred systems. the incremental cost of creating basement space is much less. These costs reflect local material and labor costs as well as the availability of certain materials and the preferences of local contractors. More subjective factors that influence a designer’s choice of foundation type and construction system are the expectations and preferences of individual clients and the home-buying public. since it is necessary to build approximately half the basement wall anyway. Local Market Preferences and Construction Costs The foundation type and construction system are also chosen based on cost and market factors that vary regionally or even locally. If people in a certain A: DEEP BASEMENT B: CRAWL SPACE C: SLAB-ON-GRADE Figure 1-5: Basic Foundation Types Builder’s Foundation Handbook Page 7 . This historic perception that foundations must extend below the natural frost depth is not entirely accurate. this system may be more cost-effective compared with other alternatives. the availability of concrete blocks is greater and there are many contractors specializing in masonry foundation walls. Buildings with very shallow foundations can be used in cold climates if they are insulated properly.impact of frost depth basically arises from the need to place foundations at greater depths in colder climates. are likely to differ. footings need not extend below the surface at all in order to avoid structural damage from frost heave. analyzing the cost-effectiveness of providing a basement requires a somewhat subjective judgment concerning the value of basement space.

underground miners) associated with exposure to radon. The decay process releases small amounts of ionizing radiation. Earth-based building materials such as cast concrete. tasteless gas found in soils and underground water. radon from well water has contributed significantly to elevated radon levels. This information is well documented internationally. An element with an atomic weight of 222. concrete masonry. Most of what is known about the risk of radon exposure is based on statistical analysis of lung cancers in humans (specifically. Radon is a colorless. Radon from well water sometimes contributes in a minor way to radon levels in indoor air. joints. and other openings in the foundation floor and wall. and adobe ordinarily are not significant sources of indoor radon. where it is diluted to an insignificant level by the atmosphere. although much less is known about the risk of long-term CRACKS IN WALLS GAPS IN SUSPENDED FLOORS GAPS AROUND SERVICE PIPES CAVITIES IN MASONRY WALLS CONSTRUCTION JOINT AT SLAB EDGE CRACKS IN BELOWGRADE WALLS CRACKS IN FLOOR SLABS Figure 1-6: Points of Radon Entry into Buildings Page 8 Chapter 1—Introduction to Foundation Design . Health Risk of Radon Exposure Radon is potentially harmful only if it is in the lungs when it decays into other isotopes (called radon progeny or radon daughters). and exists at varying levels throughout the United States.4 Radon Mitigation Techniques In this introductory chapter radon is addressed because it is a relatively new concern and one in which techniques to deal with it are just emerging. odorless. Radon is emitted from the ground to the outdoor air. brick. it can travel through the soil and into a building through cracks. and when these further decay. this radiation is held responsible for the above-normal incidence of lung cancer found among miners.1. Because radon is a gas. In a few cases. radon is produced in the natural decay of radium.

exposure to low concentrations of radon in buildings. The lung cancer hazard due to radon is a function of the number of radioactive decay events that occur in the lungs. This is related to both intensity and duration of exposure to radon gas and decay products plus the equilibrium ratio. Exposure to a low level of radon over a period of many years in one building can present the same health hazard as exposure to a higher level of radon for a shorter period of time in another building. The sum of all exposures over the course of one's life determines the overall risk to that individual.

envelope, it is desirable to make the entire building envelope airtight and control the amount of incoming fresh air, exhausted inside air, and supply air for combustion devices. A passive house with no mechanical fans operating at any given condition has a neutral pressure plane where no pressure differential exists across the building envelope. Envelope cracks above this plane exfiltrate and openings below infiltrate. The principles applied to minimize pressure differences across the building foundation envelope are essentially the same as those recommended for moisture vapor control and energy-efficient design. These include the following: 1. Reduce air infiltration from the unconditioned spaces (crawl spaces, attics, and unconditioned basements) into the occupied space by sealing openings and cracks between the two, including flues, vent stacks, attic hatchways, plumbing, wiring, and duct openings. 2. Consider locating the attic access outside conditioned space (for example, an attached garage). 3. Seal all openings in top and bottom plates of frame construction, including interior partitions. 4. Provide separate outdoor air intakes for combustion equipment. 5. Install an air barrier in all above-grade exterior walls. 6. Adjust ventilation systems to help neutralize imbalances between indoor and outdoor air pressures. Keeping a house under continuous slight positive pressure is a difficult technique to accomplish. At this time whole house, basement, or crawl space pressurization does not appear to be a viable solution to radon control. 7. Do not locate return air ducts in a crawl space or beneath a slab. Placing the HVAC ducting inside the conditioned space will save energy as well. 8. Do not locate supply ducts below concrete slabs on or below grade. 9. Seal all return ductwork located in crawl spaces. 10. Balance the HVAC ducts. System imbalance can lead to pressurization in some zones and depressurization in others.

Strategies to Control Radon
As a national policy, the public has been urged by the Environmental Protection Agency to consider 4 pCi/L (from long-term radon tests) as an “action level” for both new and existing buildings (EPA 1987). The ASHRAE Standard 62-1989, Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality, has also recognized this value as a guideline (ASHRAE 1989). In order to address the radon problem, it is necessary to find out to what degree it is present on the site. Then, depending on the level of concern, various techniques to control radon levels can be applied. Generally there are three approaches: (1) the barrier approach, (2) soil gas interception, and (3) indoor air management. The barrier approach refers to a set of techniques for constructing a tight building foundation in order to prevent soil gas from entering. Since the barrier approach differs for each foundation type, these techniques are described in chapters 2, 3, and 4 as they apply to basements, crawl spaces, and slabon-grade foundations. Intercepting soil gas refers to using vent pipes and fans to draw soil gas from a gravel layer beneath the foundation floor slab. Since this approach can be utilized for basements and slab-ongrade foundations, it is described in detail in chapters 2 and 4. The third general approach—managing indoor air—applies to all foundation types and is described below.

Managing Indoor Air
Air management techniques may be used to minimize the suction applied to the surrounding soil gas by the building. To control the pressure differential across the Builder’s Foundation Handbook

Page 9

CHAPTER 2

Basement Construction
This chapter summarizes suggested practices related to basements. Section 2.1 presents recommended optimal levels of insulation. Recommendations are given for two distinct basement conditions: (1) a fully conditioned (heated and cooled) deep basement, and (2) an unconditioned deep basement. Section 2.2 contains a brief summary of basement design practices and covers structural design, location of insulation, drainage and waterproofing, termite and wood decay control, and radon control. Section 2.3 includes a series of alternative construction details with accompanying notes indicating specific practices. Section 2.4 is a checklist to be used during the design, construction, and site inspection of a basement.

2.1 Basement Insulation Placement and Thickness
The term deep basement refers to a 7- to 10-foot basement wall with no more than the upper 25 percent exposed above grade. Fully conditioned means that the basement is heated and cooled to set thermostat levels similar to typical above-grade spaces: at least 70OF during the heating season, and no higher than 78OF during the cooling season. The unconditioned deep basement is identical to the conditioned deep basement described previously except that the space is not directly heated or cooled to maintain a temperature in the 70OF to 78OF range. Instead, it is assumed that the basement temperature fluctuates during the year based Chapter 2—Basement Construction

Figure 2-1: Concrete Masonry Basement Wall with Exterior Insulation Page 10

on heat transfer between the basement and various other heat sources and sinks including (1) the above-grade space, (2) the surrounding soil, and (3) the furnace and ducts within the basement. Generally, the temperature of the unconditioned space ranges between 55OF and 70OF most of the year in most climates.

Insulation Configurations
Tables 2-1 and 2-2 include illustrations and descriptions of a variety of basement insulation configurations. Two basic construction systems are shown—a concrete (or masonry) basement wall and a pressurepreservative-treated wood basement wall. For conditioned basements, shown in Table 2-1, there are three general approaches to insulating the concrete/masonry wall: (1) on the exterior covering the upper half of the wall, (2) on the exterior covering the entire wall, and (3) on the interior covering the entire wall. With pressure-preservativetreated wood construction, mineral wool batt insulation is placed in the cavities between the wood studs. Table 2-2, which addresses unconditioned basements, includes the same set of configurations used in Table 2-1 as well as three additional cases where insulation is placed between the floor joists in the ceiling above the unconditioned basement. This approach thermally separates the basement from the above-grade space, resulting in lower basement temperatures in winter and usually necessitating insulation of exposed ducts and pipes in the basement. Basement ceiling insulation can be applied with either construction system — concrete/masonry or wood basement walls — but is most commonly used with concrete/masonry foundations.

configurations shown in Tables 2-1 and 2-2, the case with the lowest 30-year life cycle cost was determined for five U.S. cities at three different fuel cost levels. See the Building Foundation Design Handbook (Labs et al. 1988) to find recommendations for a greater number of cities and for a detailed explanation of the methodology. The economic methodology used to determine the insulation levels in Tables 2-1 and 2-2 is consistent with ASHRAE standard 90.2P. The simple payback averages 13 years for all U.S. climate zones, and never exceeds 18 years for any of the recommended levels. Economically optimal configurations are shown by the darkened circles in Tables 2-1 and 2-2 in the following categories: (1) concrete/masonry wall with exterior insulation, (2) concrete/masonry wall with interior insulation without including the cost for interior finish material, (3) concrete/ masonry wall with interior insulation which includes the cost for sheetrock, (4) pressurepreservative-treated wood wall insulation, and (5) ceiling insulation (shown only in Table 2-2). Configurations are recommended for a range of climates and fuel prices in each of these categories, but the different categories of cases are not directly compared with each other. In other words, there is an optimal amount of exterior insulation recommended for a given climate and fuel price, and there is a different optimal amount of insulation for interior insulation with sheetrock. Where there is no darkened circle in a particular category, insulation is not economically justified under the assumptions used.

Fully Conditioned Basements

For fully conditioned basements with concrete/masonry walls, exterior insulation is justified at three fuel price levels (shown in Table 2-3) in all climate zones except the Recommended Insulation Levels warmest one, which includes cities such as While increasing the amount of basement Los Angeles and Miami. In most locations R10 insulation or greater covering the entire insulation produces greater energy savings, wall on the exterior is justified with a fully the cost of installation must be compared to conditioned basement. For interior these savings. Such a comparison can be insulation even higher levels of insulation are done in several ways; however, a life cycle cost analysis presented in worksheet form in generally recommended ranging from R-11 to R-19 in most cases. Whether or not chapter 5 is recommended. It takes into sheetrock is included in the cost of account a number of economic variables installation appears to have relatively little including installation costs, mortgage rates, impact on the recommendations. For HVAC efficiencies, and fuel escalation rates. pressure-preservative-treated wood walls, RIn order to identify the most economical 19 insulation is justified in almost all amount of insulation for the basement Builder’s Foundation Handbook Page 11

and high fuel cost levels indicated in Table 2-3. 2. H. L. Page 12 Chapter 2—Basement Construction . These recommendations are based on assumptions that are summarized at the end of section 2. 3. medium. and M refer to the low.1 and further explained in chapter 5.Table 2-1: Insulation Recommendations for Fully Conditioned Deep Basements A: Concrete or Masonry Foundation Walls with Exterior Insulation RECOMMENDED CONFIGURATIONS AT THREE FUEL PRICE LEVELS CONFIGURATION DESCRIPTION 0-2000 HDD (LOS ANG) L EXTERIOR: HALF WALL NO INSULATION 4 FT: R-5 RIGID 4 FT: R-10 RIGID M H 2-4000 HDD (FT WORTH) L M H 4-6000 HDD (KAN CITY) L M H 6-8000 HDD (CHICAGO) L M H 8-10000 HDD (MPLS) L M H EXTERIOR: FULL WALL 8 FT: R-5 RIGID 8 FT: R-10 RIGID 8 FT: R-15 RIGID 8 FT: R-20 RIGID B: Concrete or Masonry Foundation Walls with Interior Insulation (Costs do not include interior finish material) INTERIOR: FULL WALL NO INSULATION 8 FT: R-6 RIGID 8 FT: R-8 RIGID 8 FT: R-11 BATT 8 FT: R-19 BATT C: Concrete or Masonry Foundation Walls with Interior Insulation (Costs include sheetrock on interior wall) INTERIOR: FULL WALL NO INSULATION 8 FT: R-6 RIGID 8 FT: R-8 RIGID 8 FT: R-11 BATT 8 FT: R-19 BATT D: Pressure-Treated Wood Foundation Walls WOOD: FULL WALL NO INSULATION 8 FT: R-11 BATT 8 FT: R-19 BATT 8 FT: R-30 BATT 1. The darkened circle represents the recommended level of insulation in each column for each of the four basic insulation configurations.

medium. H. and high fuel cost levels indicated in Table 2-3. Builder’s Foundation Handbook Page 13 . 2. and M refer to the low. 3. These recommendations are based on assumptions that are summarized at the end of section 2. L.1 and further explained in chapter 5. The darkened circle represents the recommended level of insulation in each column for each of the four basic insulation configurations.Table 2-2: Insulation Recommendations for Unconditioned Deep Basements A: Concrete or Masonry Foundation Walls with Exterior Insulation RECOMMENDED CONFIGURATIONS AT THREE FUEL PRICE LEVELS CONFIGURATION DESCRIPTION 0-2000 HDD (LOS ANG) L EXTERIOR: HALF WALL NO INSULATION 4 FT: R-5 RIGID 4 FT: R-10 RIGID M H 2-4000 HDD (FT WORTH) L M H 4-6000 HDD (KAN CITY) L M H 6-8000 HDD (CHICAGO) L M H 8-10000 HDD (MPLS) L M H EXTERIOR: FULL WALL 8 FT: R-5 RIGID 8 FT: R-10 RIGID 8 FT: R-15 RIGID 8 FT: R-20 RIGID B: Concrete or Masonry Foundation Walls with Interior Insulation (Costs do not include interior finish material) INTERIOR: FULL WALL NO INSULATION 8 FT: R-6 RIGID 8 FT: R-8 RIGID 8 FT: R-11 BATT 8 FT: R-19 BATT C: Concrete or Masonry Foundation Walls with Interior Insulation (Costs include sheetrock on interior wall) INTERIOR: FULL WALL NO INSULATION 8 FT: R-6 RIGID 8 FT: R-8 RIGID 8 FT: R-11 BATT 8 FT: R-19 BATT D: Pressure-Treated Wood Foundation Walls WOOD: FULL WALL NO INSULATION 8 FT: R-11 BATT 8 FT: R-19 BATT 8 FT: R-30 BATT E: Concrete or Masonry Foundation Walls with Ceiling Insulation CEILING NO INSULATION R-11 BATT R-19 BATT R-30 BATT 1.

Table 2-3: Fuel Price Levels Used to Develop Recommended Insulation Levels in Tables 2-1 and 2-2 SEASON FUEL TYPE NATURAL GAS LOW PRICE LEVEL ($) . R-5 insulation on the insulation is used in an interior application. R-30 insulation is than placing insulation on the walls. Thus justified in colder cities and some insulation higher levels of ceiling insulation can be is justified in most cities. while R-10 insulation on the entire wall is recommended in the coldest used. Including the cost of sheetrock.187 / GALLON . Insulating the ceiling of an reduces the number of cases where interior unconditioned basement is generally more insulation is economically justified. Even though the cost of levels are economically justified in studs and sheetrock may be included in an unconditioned basements in most locations interior installation. a less expensive material can be moderate climates. and aesthetic installing batt insulation in these cavities is Page 14 Chapter 2—Basement Construction .561 / THERM . This is because the labor Unconditioned Basements and material costs for rigid insulation with Compared with recommended insulation protective covering required for an exterior levels for fully conditioned basements. Costs are further reduced since interior insulation does not require a protective cities.076 / KWH .791 / GALLON . however. For concrete/masonry walls with exterior insulation. deterioration. This is due to relatively low. This is because placing batt insulation into the existing spaces between floor joists ceiling insulation is placed over an represents a much smaller incremental cost unconditioned basement. insulating pressurepreservative-treated wood walls is more cost.walls. this is only one of many cost and performance issues to be considered.527 / GALLON . If rigid temperatures. a higher R-value is the low initial cost of installing insulation economically justified for wood wall systems. on a concrete/masonry foundation walls to an equivalent level. effective than insulating concrete/masonry Likewise.842 / THERM 1. performance. R-11 is recommended in moderate flashing or coating to prevent degradation from ultraviolet light as well as mechanical to cold climates at all fuel price levels. R-11 to R-19 insulation is unconditioned basement to an equivalent justified in moderate to cold climates. At the high fuel price level (H). the installation cost is less than placing it on upper wall is justified only in the colder the exterior. within the available stud cavity of the wood On concrete/masonry basement walls. Because it does not have to climates at low (L) and medium (M) fuel withstand exposure to water and soil prices. Comparison of Insulation Systems In spite of the apparent energy efficiency of wood versus concrete/masonry basement Generally.114 / KWH locations at all fuel price levels. economically justified when compared to wall insulation. the incremental cost of due to generally lower basement batt installation is relatively little. Thus. R-5 pressure below grade as it does on the insulation on the upper wall is justified in exterior.051 / KWH .516 / GALLON HIGH PRICE LEVEL ($) . lower installation typically exceed the cost of interior insulation.775 / GALLON HEATING FUEL OIL PROPANE COOLING ELECTRICITY .374 / THERM . For cost-effective than insulating the walls of an basements with pressure-preservativetreated wood walls. For interior insulation without sheetrock.344 / GALLON MEDIUM PRICE LEVEL ($) . When level. This is because wall. foundation. interior insulation is generally more costeffective than an equivalent amount of exterior insulation. the economic benefit of interior versus the cavity exists between studs in a wood exterior insulation may be offset by other wall system and the incremental cost of practical.

this approach may be undesirable in colder climates since pipes and ducts may be exposed to freezing temperatures and the space will be unusable for many purposes. Energy price inflation and mortgage conditions are selected to allow maximum simple payback of 18 years with average paybacks of about 13 years. Although ceiling insulation in an unconditioned basement appears more costeffective than wall insulation. the reader can determine the approximate recommended insulation level for a location by finding the heating degree days from Table 5-1 in chapter 5 and selecting the appropriate climate zone and fuel price level shown in Tables 2-1 and 2-2. batt insulation is placed in the cavities between the wood studs.2 with 10 percent duct losses. The total installed costs for all insulation systems considered in this analysis are shown in Table 5-2 in chapter 5.considerations discussed elsewhere in this book. Installation costs used in this analysis are based on average U. With pressure-preservative-treated wood construction. All costs include a 30 percent builder markup and a 30 percent subcontractor markup for overhead and profit. not the interior finish which might be used with or without insulation. Builder’s Foundation Handbook Page 15 . Assumptions These general recommendations are based on a set of underlying assumptions. costs include labor and materials for expanded polystyrene (R-6 and R-8) and wood framing with fiberglass batts (R-11 and R-19). For the interior cases. HVAC efficiencies. The total heating system efficiency is 68 percent and the cooling system SEER is 9. Costeffectiveness can vary considerably. If the general assumptions used in this analysis are satisfactory for the specific project. If not. and fuel escalation rates. For the exterior cases. The installed costs and R-values for all interior cases are shown with and without interior finish material. depending on the construction details and cost assumptions. In addition the user can incorporate local energy prices. A higher cost increment is used when R-30 insulation is placed in a wood wall reflecting the additional depth required in the studs. costs include labor and materials for extruded polystyrene insulation and the required protective covering and flashing above grade. actual insulation costs. project-specific optimal insulation levels can be determined using actual estimated construction costs with the worksheet provided in chapter 5. mortgage conditions. The worksheet enables the user to select economic criteria other than allowing maximum simple paybacks of 18 years. Fuel price assumptions used in this analysis are shown in Table 2-3. costs in 1987. Costs used in the analysis reflect only the additional cost of installing the insulation.S. In all cases the choice of foundation type and insulation system must be based on many factors in addition to energy cost-effectiveness.

soil moisture content. the footing. Where simple limits are exceeded. A compacted gravel bed serves as the footing under a wood foundation wall when designed in accordance with the National Forest Products Association’s wood foundations design specifications (NFPA 1987). concrete strength. ANCHOR BOLT CONNECTS FOUNDATION WALL TO SUPERSTRUCTURE AND RESISTS WIND UPLIFT WALL RESISTS VERTICAL LOAD FROM ABOVE-GRADE STRUCTURE WALL RESISTS LATERAL LOAD FROM SOIL SPREAD FOOTING DISTRIBUTES VERTICAL LOAD TO GROUND SLAB SUPPORTS FLOOR LOAD FROM BASEMENT Figure 2-2: Components of Basement Structural System Page 16 Chapter 2—Basement Construction . special foundation construction techniques may be necessary. Concrete spread footings provide support beneath basement concrete and masonry walls and columns. or pressure-preservative-treated wood. consultation with local building officials and a structural engineer is recommended.2 Recommended Design and Construction Details STRUCTURAL DESIGN The major structural components of a basement are the wall. and reinforcing are given in the construction details that follow. and the floor (see Figure 2-2). concrete masonry units.2. and whether the building is located in an area of low or high seismic activity. Some simple guidelines for wall thickness. Unless founded on bedrock or proven non-frost-susceptible soils. Basement walls are typically constructed of cast-in-place concrete. footings must be placed beneath the maximum frost penetration depth or be insulated to prevent frost penetration. The use of welded wire fabric and concrete with a low water/cement ratio can reduce shrinkage cracking. which is an important concern for appearance and for reducing potential radon infiltration. Footings must be designed with adequate size to distribute the load to the soil. Where expansive soils are present or in areas of high seismic activity. Basement walls must be designed to resist lateral loads from the soil and vertical loads from the structure above. a structural engineer should be consulted. the soil type. Concrete slab-on-grade floors are generally designed to have sufficient strength to support floor loads without reinforcing when poured on undisturbed or compacted soil. In these cases. The lateral loads on the wall depend on the height of the fill.

however. and carry away any water in the ground surrounding the basement. SURFACE DRAINAGE SYSTEM COMPONENTS . and (3) dampproofing or waterproofing on the wall surface (see Figure 2-3). On sites where the basement floor could be below the water table. collect.DRAIN PIPES IN GRAVEL BED ALONG FOOTING . The goal of surface drainage is to keep water from surface sources away from the foundation by sloping the ground surface and using gutters and downspouts for roof drainage. Waterproofing is recommended (1) on sites with anticipated water problems or poor drainage. is not effective in preventing water from entering through the wall. DAMPPROOFING OR WATERPROOFING SYSTEM COMPONENTS . irrigation. The goal of subsurface drainage is to intercept. In most cases a dampproof coating covered by a 4-mil layer of polyethylene is recommended to reduce vapor and capillary draw transmission from the soil through the basement wall. In some cases. the groundwater table is near or above the basement floor level at times during the year. and sometimes irrigation on the surface. A dampproof coating. SUBSURFACE DRAINAGE SYSTEM COMPONENTS .IMPERMEABLE TOPSOIL .DRAINAGE AND WATERPROOFING Keeping water out of basements is a major concern in many regions. (2) when finished basement space is planned. and perforated drainpipes in a gravel bed along the footing or beneath the slab that drain to a sump or to daylight. it is important to distinguish between the need for dampproofing versus waterproofing. snow melt.GUTTERS AND DOWNSPOUTS 2. a crawl space or slab-on-grade foundation is recommended. The final line of defense— waterproofing—is intended to keep out water that finds its way to the wall of the structure. 1. drainage mat materials or insulated drainage boards.POROUS BACKFILL OR DRAINAGE MAT . Local conditions will determine which of these subsurface drainage system components. First.PIPES DRAIN TO A SUMP OR DAYLIGHT 3. The source of water is primarily from rainfall. are recommended for a particular site.PROTECTION BOARD OFTEN REQUIRED Figure 2-3: Components of Basement Drainage and Waterproofing Systems Builder’s Foundation Handbook Page 17 .MATERIAL APPLIED DIRECTLY TO WALL EXTERIOR . (2) subsurface drainage. or snow melt. There are three basic lines of defense against water problems in basements: (1) surface drainage. or (3) on any foundation built where intermittent hydrostatic pressure occurs against the basement wall due to rainfall. Components of a subsurface system can include porous backfill.SLOPE GROUND AWAY . if any.GRAVEL LAYER UNDER FLOOR SLAB .

resulting in significantly higher R-values. However. Insulation placement in the basement ceiling of an unconditioned basement is another acceptable alternative. Rigid insulation placed on the exterior surface of a concrete or masonry basement wall has some advantages over interior placement in that it (1) can provide continuous insulation with no thermal bridges. For example. This approach has a relatively low cost and provides sufficient space for considerable insulation thickness. Individual design considerations as well as local costs and practices determine the best approach for each project. (3) minimizes moisture condensation problems. interlocking rigid foam units that serve as a permanent. However. 2. Interior insulation placement is generally less expensive than exterior placement if the cost of the interior finish materials is not included. However. and (5) masonry blocks made with polystyrene beads instead of aggregate in the concrete mixture. 4. stumps. (3) systems of concrete blocks with insulating foam inserts. and scrap wood from the site before. (4) formed. there are several systems that incorporate insulation into the construction of the concrete or masonry walls. and by installing a complete subdrainage system around the foundation. and after construction. A 2-inch air space should be provided between the end of the insulation and the bottom plate of the foundation wall. insulating form for cast-in-place concrete. the effectiveness of systems that insulate only a portion of the wall area should be evaluated closely because thermal bridges through the insulation can impact the total performance significantly. durable surface. In terms of energy use. On the other hand. In addition to more conventional interior or exterior placement covered in this handbook. 1. Consult with local building officials and codes for further details. Remove all roots. including wood stakes and formwork from the foundation area. (2) protects and maintains the waterproofing and structural wall at moderate temperatures. Minimize soil moisture around the basement by using gutters. These include (1) rigid foam plastic insulation cast within a concrete wall. Energy savings may be reduced with some systems and details due to thermal bridges. Place a bond beam or course of cap blocks on top of all concrete masonry foundation walls to ensure that no open cores Chapter 2—Basement Construction .LOCATION OF INSULATION A key question in foundation design is whether to place insulation inside or outside the basement wall. the installation costs. Treat soil with termiticide on all sites vulnerable to termites. Insulation can be placed on the inside of the rim joist but with greater risk of condensation problems and less access to wood joists and sills for termite inspection from the interior. during. downspouts. insulation is placed in the stud cavities similarly to insulation in an above-grade wood frame wall. ease of application. TERMITE AND WOOD DECAY CONTROL TECHNIQUES Techniques for controlling the entry of termites through residential foundations are advisable in much of the United States (see Figure 2-4). there is not a significant difference between the same amount of full wall insulation applied to the exterior versus the interior of a concrete or masonry wall. Interior insulation is an effective alternative to exterior insulation. and (4) does not reduce interior basement floor area. Exterior insulation at the rim joist leaves joists and sill plates open to inspection from the interior for termites and decay. (2) polystyrene beads or granular insulation materials poured into the cavities of conventional masonry walls. and runouts to remove roof water. and various technical concerns can be quite different. However. This approach is relatively low in cost and provides significant energy savings. partial interior wall insulation is not recommended because of the possible circumventing of the insulation through the wall construction. Page 18 With a wood foundation system. 3. this does not leave the wall with a finished. appearance. The following recommendations apply where termites are a potential problem. ceiling insulation should be used with caution in colder climates where pipes may freeze and structural damage may result from lowering the frost depth. exterior insulation on the wall can provide a path for termites if not treated adequately and can prevent inspection of the wall from the exterior.

OR FILLED UPPER COURSE OF MASONRY WALL TREAT SOIL FOR TERMITES WOOD POSTS SHOULD BE TREATED OR PLACED ON A 1-IN. but should not be relied upon as a barrier. In principle. Since termite shields are often damaged or not installed carefully enough. 6. fill all cores on the top course with mortar. However. 5. Flash hollow steel columns at the top to stop termites. or place posts on flashing or a concrete pedestal raised 1 inch above the floor. they are considered optional and should not be regarded as sufficient defense by themselves. In addition. PRESSURE-PRESERVATIVE TREATED SILL PLATE 8-IN. 10. Fill the joint between the slab floor and foundation wall with urethane caulk or coal tar pitch to form a termite barrier. These concerns over insulation and the unreliability of termite shields have led to the conclusion that soil treatment is the most effective technique to control termites with an insulated foundation.USE GUTTERS AND DOWNSPOUTS . This situation should encourage insulation techniques that enhance visual inspection and provide effective barriers to termites. MIN. ABOVE GRADE WOOD SIDING 6-IN. TRUNKS. The sill plate should be visible for inspection from the interior. Alternatively. MIN. porches and exterior slabs should be separated from all wood members by a 2-inch gap visible for inspection or by a continuous metal flashing soldered at all seams.INSTALL SUBSURFACE DRAINAGE SYSTEM FILL JOINT WITH CAULKING Figure 2-4: Termite Control Techniques for Basements Builder’s Foundation Handbook Page 19 . it should be pressurepreservative treated to resist decay. but they can provide protective cover and easy tunnelling. PEDESTAL PLACE FLASHING OVER HOLLOW METAL POSTS REMOVE ROOTS. the restrictions on widely used termiticides may make this option either unavailable or cause the substitution of products that are more expensive and possibly less effective. and reinforce the mortar joint beneath the top course. Plastic foam and mineral wool insulation materials have no food value to termites. 7. termite shields offer protection. and are at least 2 inches below exterior siding. Use pressure-preservative-treated wood posts on the basement floor slab. 8.are left exposed. Solid steel bearing plates can also serve as a termite shield at the top of a wood post or hollow steel column. Insulation installations can be detailed for ease of inspection. ABOVE GRADE BOND BEAM. Be sure that exterior wood siding and trim is at least 6 inches above grade. CAP BLOCK. Place the sill plate at least 8 inches above grade. Construct porches and exterior slabs so that they slope away from the foundation wall. 9. AND SCRAP WOOD FROM FOUNDATION AREA MINIMIZE SOIL MOISTURE . although often by sacrificing thermal efficiency.

RADON CONTROL TECHNIQUES
Construction techniques for minimizing radon infiltration into the basement are appropriate where there is a reasonable probability that radon may be present (see Figure 2-5). To determine this, contact the state health department or environmental protection office. General approaches to minimizing radon include (1) sealing joints, cracks, and penetrations in the foundation, and (2) evacuating soil gas surrounding the basement.

Sealing the Basement Floor
1. Use solid pipes for floor discharge drains to daylight, or mechanical traps that discharge to subsurface drains.
BOND BEAM, CAP BLOCK, OR FILLED UPPER COURSE OF MASONRY WALL SEAL AROUND ALL DOORS, DUCTS OR PIPES IN WALLS, FLOORS, OR LEADING TO ADJACENT CRAWL SPACES USE SOLID DRAINPIPES IN FLOOR WITH MECHANICAL TRAPS PARGE MASONRY WALL INSTALL DRAINAGE BOARD TO PROVIDE ESCAPE FOR SOIL GAS DAMPPROOFING OR WATERPROOFING SOLID BLOCK OR FILL LOWER COURSE SOLID POLYURETHANE CAULKING IN JOINT REINFORCE SLAB AND USE CONCRETE WITH LOW WATER/CEMENT RATIO TO REDUCE CRACKING

2. Use a 6-mil (minimum) polyethylene film beneath the slab on top of the gravel drainage bed. This film serves as a radon and moisture retarder and also prevents concrete from infiltrating the aggregate base under the slab as it is cast. Slit an “x” in the polyethylene membrane to receive penetrations. Turn up the tabs and tape them. Care should be taken to avoid unintentionally puncturing the barrier; consider using rounded riverbed gravel if possible. The riverbed gravel allows for freer movement of the soil gas and also offers no sharp edges to penetrate the polyethylene. The edges of the film should be lapped at least 12 inches. The polyethylene should extend over the top of the footing, or be sealed to the foundation wall. A 2-inch-thick sand layer on top of the polyethylene improves concrete curing and offers some protection from puncture of the polyethylene during the concrete pouring operation. 3. Tool the joint between the wall and slab floor and seal with polyurethane caulk, which adheres well to concrete and is longlasting. 4. Avoid perimeter gutters around the slab that provide a direct opening to the soil beneath the slab. 5. Minimize shrinkage cracking by keeping the water content of the concrete as low as possible. If necessary, use plasticizers, not water, to increase workability. 6. Reinforce the slab with wire mesh or fibers to reduce shrinkage cracking, especially near the inside corner of “L” shaped slabs.

REINFORCE WALLS AND FOOTING TO MINIMIZE CRACKING

6-MIL POLY LAYER UNDER SLAB SEALED TO WALL

Figure 2-5: Radon Control Techniques for Basements

Page 20

Chapter 2—Basement Construction

7. Where used, finish control joints with a 3. Parge and seal the exterior face of 1/2-inch depression and fully fill this recess below-grade concrete masonry walls in with polyurethane or similar caulk. contact with the soil. Install drainage boards to provide an airway for soil gas to reach the 8. Minimize the number of pours to surface outside the wall rather than being avoid cold joints. Begin curing the concrete drawn through the wall. immediately after the pour, according to recommendations of the American Concrete 4. Install a continuous dampproofing or Institute (1980; 1983). At least three days are waterproofing membrane on the exterior of required at 70OF, and longer at lower the wall. Six-mil polyethylene placed on the temperatures. Use an impervious cover sheet exterior of the basement wall surface will retard radon entry through wall cracks. or wetted burlap to facilitate curing. The National Ready Mix Concrete Association 5. Seal around plumbing and other utility suggests a pigmented curing compound and service penetrations through the wall should also be used. with polyurethane or similar caulking. Both 9. Form a gap of at least 1/2-inch width the exterior and the interior of concrete around all plumbing and utility lead-ins masonry walls should be sealed at penetrations. through the slab to a depth of at least 1/2 inch. Fill with polyurethane or similar 6. Install airtight seals on doors and other caulking. openings between a basement and adjoining crawl space. 10. Do not install sumps within basements in radon-prone areas unless 7. Seal around ducts, plumbing, and absolutely necessary. Where used, cover the other service connections between a sump pit with a sealed lid and vent to the basement and a crawl space. outdoors. Use submersible pumps. 11. Install mechanical traps at all necessary floor drains discharging through the gravel beneath the slab. 12. Place HVAC condensate drains so that they drain to daylight outside of the building envelope. Condensate drains that connect to dry wells or other soil may become direct paths for soil gas, and can be a major entry point for radon. 13. Seal openings around water closets, tub traps, and other plumbing fixtures (consider nonshrinkable grout).

Intercepting Soil Gas
At this time the best strategy for mitigating radon hazard seems to be to reduce stack effects by building a tight foundation in combination with a generally tight above-grade structure, and to make sure a radon collection system and, at the very least, provisions for a discharge system are an integral part of the initial construction. This acts as an insurance policy at modest cost. Once the house is built, if radon levels are excessive, a passive discharge system can be connected and if further mitigation effort is needed, the system can be activated by installing an in-line duct fan (see Figure 2-6). Subslab depressurization has proven to be an effective technique for reducing radon concentrations to acceptable levels, even in homes with extremely high concentrations (Dudney 1988). This technique lowers the pressure around the foundation envelope, causing the soil gas to be routed into a collection system, avoiding the inside spaces and discharging to the outdoors. This system could be installed in two phases. The first phase is the collection system located on the soil side of the foundation, which should be installed during construction. The collection system, which may consist of nothing more than 4 inches of gravel beneath the slab floor, can be installed at little or no additional cost Page 21

Sealing the Basement Walls
1. Reinforce walls and footings to minimize shrinkage cracking and cracking due to uneven settlement. 2. To retard movement of radon through hollow core masonry walls, the top and bottom courses of hollow masonry walls should be solid block, or filled solid. If the top side of the bottom course is below the level of the slab, the course of block at the intersection of the bottom of the slab should be filled. Where a brick veneer or other masonry ledge is installed, the course immediately below that ledge should also be solid block.

Builder’s Foundation Handbook

ROOF VENT FOR SOIL GAS DISCHARGE

DISCHARGE FAN LOCATED IN ATTIC

RISER PIPES FROM SUMP AND AREA UNDER SLAB STANDPIPES CAN BE CAPPED FOR FUTURE USE CONCRETE SLAB OVER POLY VAPOR BARRIER SEALED SUMP PIT COVER REINFORCED FOOTING OVER PIPE TRENCH NEAR SUMP SUCTION TAP CAST IN SLAB

MONOLITHIC CONCRETE OR SOLID PLASTIC SUMP WITH PUMP

PERIMETER DRAINPIPE AT FOOTING DRAINS TO SUMP

Figure 2-6: Soil Gas Collection and Discharge Techniques

Page 22

Chapter 2—Basement Construction

The second phase is the discharge system. The standpipe should be located on the opposite side from this drainage discharge. Cracks. Connecting the vent pipe initially without the fan provides a passive depressurization system which may be adequate in some cases and could be designed for easy modification to an active system if necessary. Active systems use quiet. Under field conditions of 0. A suction of 5 Pascals is considered satisfactory. It is desirable to avoid dependence on a continuously operating fan. and control joints must be sealed. radon levels tested and. Floor drains that discharge to the gravel beneath the slab should be avoided. Note. The underslab gravel drainage layer can be used to collect soil gas. which could be installed later if necessary. if not run into a sealed sump. the system activated by adding a fan. The fan should be oriented to prevent accumulation of condensed water in the fan housing. the standpipe can be uncapped and connected to a vent pipe. The subsurface drainage discharge line. This system is susceptible to owner interference. such a fan operates at about 80 cfm. Weep holes provided through the footing or gravel bed extending beyond the foundation wall will help assure good air communication between the foundation perimeter soil and the underside of the slab. 160 cfm centrifugal fan (maximum capacity) capable of drawing up to 1 inch of water before stalling. should be fitted with a mechanical trap capable of providing an airtight seal. This is often achieved with a 0. however.2 inch of water. The fan should be located in an accessible section of the stack so that any leaks from the positive pressure side of the fan are not in the living space. to a point at or above the eave line. slab penetrations.in new construction. It can also be carried out through the band joist and up along the outside of wall. which in turn could be covered with a 2-inch sand bed. interior walls. considerable indoor air could be discharged. It is possible to test the suction of the subslab system by drilling a small (1/4-inch) hole in an area of the slab remote from the collector pipe or suction point. The exhaust should be located away from doors and windows to avoid reentry of the soil gas into the above-grade space. It should be at least 4 inches thick. and measuring the suction through the hole. A foundation with good subsurface drainage already has a collection system. or closets.or 4-inch diameter PVC 12-inch section of pipe should be inserted vertically into the subslab aggregate and capped at the top. Another potential short circuit can occur if the subdrainage system has a gravity discharge to an underground outfall. resulting in a larger than expected energy penalty. Ideally. a passive depressurization system should be installed. The standpipe should be positioned for easy routing to the roof through plumbing chases. particularly motor-driven components. and of clean aggregate no less than 1/2 inch in diameter. Active subslab depressurization does raise some long-term concerns which at this time are not fully understood. The standpipe can also be added by drilling a 4-inch hole through the finished slab. should be constructed with a solid-glued drainpipe that runs to daylight. The stack should be routed up through the building and extend 2 to 4 feet above the roof. but when used. This discharge line may need to be provided with a mechanical seal. in-line duct fans to draw gas from the soil. A fan capable of maintaining 0. Builder’s Foundation Handbook Page 23 . A subslab depressurization system requires the floor slab to be nearly airtight so that collection efforts are not short-circuited by drawing excessive room air down through the slab and into the system. Stack pipes could also be installed horizontally through below-grade walls to the area beneath adjoining slabs. coarse gravel layer. System durability is of concern. if necessary. A 3. If necessary. If the radon barrier techniques are not fully utilized along with the subslab depressurization.03 hp (25W). The gravel should be covered with a 6-mil polyethylene radon and moisture retarder.2 inch of water suction under installation conditions is adequate for serving subslab collection systems for most houses (Labs 1988). that it is normally less costly to complete the vent stack routing through the roof during construction than to install or complete the vent stack after the building is finished. A single standpipe is adequate for typical house-size floors with a clean. The hole must be sealed after the test. Sump hole covers should be designed and installed to be airtight.

Downspouts and gutters should be used to collect roof drainage and direct it away from the foundation walls. Figure 2-12 illustrates ceiling insulation over an unconditioned basement. such as interior versus exterior insulation. galvanized metal or aluminum flashing. The challenge is to develop integrated solutions that address all key considerations without unnecessarily complicating construction or increasing the cost. recommended practices or details often represent compromises and trade-offs. fiberglass. MIN. Included in this group of details are variations in construction systems. There is no one set of perfect solutions.3 Basement Construction Details In this section several typical basement wall sections are illustrated and described.2. in some regions termite control may be considered more critical than thermal considerations. 2. Figures 2-8 through 2-10 show configurations with insulation on the exterior surface of basement walls. They should be covered by a protective material — such as exterior grade plastic. BELOW GRADE 1 GROUND SLOPES AWAY FROM WALL AT 5% (6" IN 10 FT) 2 8-IN. while the reverse is true elsewhere. 7-IN. Numbers that occur within boxes in each drawing refer to the notes on pages 31 and 32 that follow the drawings (see Figure 2-7). Individual circumstances will dictate final design choices. For example. EXAMPLE OF NOTES CORRESPONDING TO CONSTRUCTION DRAWING: RIM JOIST PROTECTION BOARD OR COATING EXTENDS 6 IN. use of insulation under the slab. 1. The purpose of this section is to show and describe a variety of reasonable alternatives. Surface drainage: The ground surface should slope downward at least 5 percent (6 inches) over the first 10 feet surrounding the basement wall to direct surface runoff away from the building. Insulation protection: Exterior insulation materials should not be exposed above grade. Figure 2-7: System of Key Numbers in Construction Drawings that Refer to Notes on Following Pages Page 24 Chapter 2—Basement Construction . is considered superior in all cases. A typical interior placement configuration is shown in Figure 2-11. a cementitious coating. MIN. or a rigid protection board — extending at least 6 inches below grade. No particular approach. and approaches to insulating rim joists. A typical wood foundation wall section is shown in Figure 213.

5 inches thick or less. PERFORATED DRAIN PIPE WITH HOLES FACING DOWN (OPTIONAL) 8 CONCRETE FOOTING 9 4-IN. CAULKING OR GASKET (OPTIONAL) 10 RIM JOIST PRESSURE-TREATED SILL PLATE 11 PROTECTION BOARD OR COATING EXTENDS 6 IN. MESH 16 VAPOR RETARDER 17 CONCRETE FOUNDATION WALL 14 Figure 2-8 illustrates a concrete foundation wall with exterior insulation. OR GRANULAR BACKFILL (OPTIONAL) 4 ISOLATION JOINT 15 RIGID INSULATION 5 DAMPPROOFING OR WATERPROOFING 6 FILTER FABRIC ABOVE GRAVEL (OPTIONAL ON SIDES AND BELOW) 7 COARSE GRAVEL 4-IN. W. MIN. CONCRETE SLAB WITH OPTIONAL W. 13 LOW PERMEABILITY SOIL (OPTIONAL) 3 DRAINAGE MAT. The rigid insulation also serves as sheathing over the 2 x 4 wood frame wall above grade. This approach can be used for rigid insulation that is 1. O. C. MIN. MAX.EXTERIOR SIDING RIGID INSULATION SHEATHING BATT INSULATION VAPOR RETARDER GYPSUM BOARD SUBFLOOR SEALANT. BELOW GRADE 1 GROUND SLOPES AWAY FROM WALL AT 5% (6" IN 10 FT) 2 8-IN. DIAMETER WEEP HOLES AT 8 FT. REINFORCING (OPTIONAL) 12 1/2-IN. INSULATING DRAINAGE BOARD. C. ANCHOR BOLTS AT 6 FT. 4-IN. MAX. O. (OPTIONAL) 20 REINFORCING (OPTIONAL) 21 Figure 2-8: Concrete Basement Wall with Exterior Insulation Builder’s Foundation Handbook Page 25 . GRAVEL DRAINAGE LAYER (OPTIONAL) 18 THROUGH WALL MOISTURE BARRIER / KEYWAY (OPTIONAL) 19 2-IN. 7-IN.

OR GRANULAR BACKFILL (OPTIONAL) 4 CONCRETE FOUNDATION WALL 14 ISOLATION JOINT 15 4-IN. O. The overhang can be up to 2 inches but additional rigid insulation can be added that extends over the entire wall assembly. 13 LOW PERMEABILITY SOIL (OPTIONAL) 3 DRAINAGE MAT. PROTECTION BOARD OR COATING EXTENDS 6 IN. C. SAND LAYER (OPTIONAL) 16 VAPOR RETARDER 17 RIGID INSULATION 5 DAMPPROOFING OR WATERPROOFING 6 FILTER FABRIC ABOVE GRAVEL (OPTIONAL ON SIDES AND BELOW) 7 COARSE GRAVEL 4-IN. Another minor difference is that this figure shows a sand layer beneath the floor slab. This differs from Figure 2-8 in that the above grade wood frame wall is constructed of 2 x 6's which overhang the foundation wall. GRAVEL DRAINAGE LAYER (OPTIONAL) 18 THROUGH WALL MOISTURE BARRIER / KEYWAY (OPTIONAL) 19 2-IN. O. DIAMETER WEEP HOLES AT 8 FT. MAX. CONCRETE SLAB WITH OPTIONAL W. MIN. 7-IN.EXTERIOR SIDING SHEATHING 2 x 6 FRAME WALL OVERHANGS RIM JOIST UP TO 2 IN. REINFORCING (OPTIONAL) 12 1/2-IN. C. (OPTIONAL) 20 REINFORCING (OPTIONAL) 21 Figure 2-9: Concrete Basement Wall with Exterior Insulation Page 26 Chapter 2—Basement Construction . MIN. W. BATT INSULATION VAPOR RETARDER GYPSUM BOARD SUBFLOOR RIGID INSULATION 5 RIM JOIST SEALANT. CAULKING OR GASKET (OPTIONAL) 10 PRESSURE-TREATED SILL PLATE 11 Figure 2-9 illustrates a concrete foundation wall with exterior insulation. ANCHOR BOLTS AT 6 FT. BELOW GRADE 1 GROUND SLOPES AWAY FROM WALL AT 5% (6" IN 10 FT) 2 8-IN. PERFORATED DRAIN PIPE WITH HOLES FACING DOWN (OPTIONAL) 8 CONCRETE FOOTING 9 4-IN. MAX. MESH 16 2-IN. INSULATING DRAINAGE BOARD.

O. CAULKING OR GASKET (OPTIONAL) 10 PRESSURE-TREATED SILL PLATE 11 1/2-IN. (OPTIONAL) 20 REINFORCING (OPTIONAL) 21 Figure 2-10: Masonry Basement Wall with Exterior Insulation Builder’s Foundation Handbook Page 27 . AS REQUIRED BY CODE 31 FILLED BLOCK CORES OR BOND BEAM 33 CONCRETE MASONRY FOUNDATION WALL 22 LOW PERMEABILITY SOIL (OPTIONAL) 3 DRAINAGE MAT. DIAMETER WEEP HOLES AT 8 FT. CONCRETE SLAB WITH OPTIONAL W. BELOW GRADE 1 GROUND SLOPES AWAY FROM WALL AT 5% (6" IN 10 FT) 2 8-IN.EXTERIOR SIDING SHEATHING 2 x 4 FRAME WALL BATT INSULATION VAPOR RETARDER GYPSUM BOARD SUBFLOOR FLASHING COVERS TOP OF INSULATION RIGID INSULATION 5 RIM JOIST PROTECTION BOARD OR COATING EXTENDS 6 IN. ANCHOR BOLTS AT 6 FT. MAX. There is no limit to the thickness of the foundation insulation. C. The wood frame wall can be either 2 x 4 or 2 x 6 construction and does not overhang the foundation wall. This differs from Figure 2-8 and 2-9 in that the rigid foundation insulation is covered by a flashing material at the top. SAND LAYER (OPTIONAL) 16 VAPOR RETARDER 17 Figure 2-10 illustrates a concrete masonry foundation wall with exterior insulation. C. MAX. MIN. O. OR GRANULAR BACKFILL (OPTIONAL) 4 ISOLATION JOINT 15 4-IN. PERFORATED DRAIN PIPE WITH HOLES FACING DOWN (OPTIONAL) 8 CONCRETE FOOTING 9 RIGID INSULATION (OPTIONAL) 32 4-IN. SEALANT. MESH 16 2-IN. GRAVEL DRAINAGE LAYER (OPTIONAL) 18 2-IN. EMBEDDED 7 TO 15 IN. INSULATING DRAINAGE BOARD. This figure also shows insulation and a sand layer beneath the floor slab. W. RIGID INSULATION 5 DAMPPROOFING OR WATERPROOFING 6 FILTER FABRIC ABOVE GRAVEL (OPTIONAL ON SIDES AND BELOW) 7 COARSE GRAVEL 4-IN.

A wood frame wall is constructed inside the foundation wall and batt insulation is placed between the studs. MAX. MAX.-TREATED PLATE 4-IN. INSULATING DRAINAGE BOARD. C. W. C. (OPTIONAL) 20 REINFORCING (OPTIONAL) 21 Figure 2-11: Concrete Basement Wall with Interior Insulation Page 28 Chapter 2—Basement Construction . CONCRETE SLAB WITH W. Rigid insulation can also be placed between furring strips on the interior wall. This figure also shows rigid insulation beneath the floor slab. DRAINAGE MAT. O. 7-IN. 13 INSULATION IN FRAME WALL 24 VAPOR RETARDER Figure 2-11 illustrates a concrete foundation wall with interior insulation. RIM JOIST (OPTIONAL CAULKING ABOVE AND BELOW RIM JOIST) 10 PRESSURE-TREATED SILL PLATE 11 GASKET UNDER SILL PLATE 34 GROUND SLOPES AWAY FROM WALL AT 5% (6" IN 10 FT) 2 LOW PERMEABILITY SOIL (OPTIONAL) 3 BATT INSULATION VAPOR RETARDER GYPSUM BOARD SUBFLOOR BATT INSULATION RIGID INSULATION CAULKED AT ALL EDGES FORMS A VAPOR RETARDER (OPTIONAL) 23 REINFORCING (OPTIONAL) 12 8-IN. OR GRANULAR BACKFILL (OPTIONAL) 4 DAMPPROOFING OR WATERPROOFING WITH PROTECTION BOARD AS REQUIRED 6 CONCRETE FOUNDATION WALL 14 FILTER FABRIC ABOVE GRAVEL (OPTIONAL ON SIDES AND BELOW) 7 COARSE GRAVEL FINISH MATERIAL RIGID INSULATION IN JOINT (OPTIONAL) 15 PRES. MIN. O. GRAVEL DRAINAGE LAYER (OPTIONAL) 18 THROUGH WALL MOISTURE BARRIER / KEYWAY (OPTIONAL) 19 2-IN. ANCHOR BOLTS AT 6 FT. PERFORATED DRAIN PIPE WITH HOLES FACING DOWN (OPTIONAL) 8 CONCRETE FOOTING 9 4-IN. DIAMETER WEEP HOLES AT 8 FT. MESH 16 VAPOR RETARDER 17 RIGID INSULATION (OPTIONAL) 32 4-IN. 1/2-IN. MIN.EXTERIOR SIDING SHEATHING 2 x 6 FRAME WALL OVERHANGS RIM JOIST UP TO 2 IN.

GRAVEL DRAINAGE LAYER (OPTIONAL) 18 THROUGH WALL MOISTURE BARRIER / KEYWAY (OPTIONAL) 19 2-IN. MIN. MAX. LOW PERMEABILITY SOIL (OPTIONAL) 3 DRAINAGE MAT. CONCRETE SLAB WITH OPTIONAL W. ANCHOR BOLTS AT 6 FT. MESH 16 VAPOR RETARDER 17 4-IN. MIN. O.EXTERIOR SIDING SHEATHING BATT INSULATION VAPOR RETARDER GYPSUM BOARD SUBFLOOR RIM JOIST (OPTIONAL CAULKING ABOVE AND BELOW RIM JOIST) 10 PRESSURE-TREATED SILL PLATE WITH GASKET 11 7-IN. MAX. It should be used with caution in colder climates and any ducts and pipes in the basement should be insulated. INSULATING DRAINAGE BOARD. W. This approach is appropriate for an unconditioned basement. DIAMETER WEEP HOLES AT 8 FT. C. C. PERFORATED DRAIN PIPE WITH HOLES FACING DOWN (OPTIONAL) 8 CONCRETE FOOTING 9 4-IN. O. GROUND SLOPES AWAY FROM WALL AT 5% (6" IN 10 FT) 2 8-IN. INSULATION BETWEEN FLOOR JOISTS WITH VAPOR RETARDER ON TOP OF INSULATION 25 REINFORCING (OPTIONAL) 12 1/2-IN. (OPTIONAL) 20 REINFORCING (OPTIONAL) 21 Figure 2-12: Concrete Basement Wall with Ceiling Insulation Builder’s Foundation Handbook Page 29 . 13 CONCRETE FOUNDATION WALL 14 Figure 2-12 illustrates a basement with insulation placed in the ceiling between the floor joists. OR GRANULAR BACKFILL (OPTIONAL) 4 ISOLATION JOINT 15 DAMPPROOFING OR WATERPROOFING WITH PROTECTION BOARD AS REQUIRED 6 FILTER FABRIC ABOVE GRAVEL (OPTIONAL ON SIDES AND BELOW) 7 COARSE GRAVEL 4-IN.

W. VAPOR RETARDER 17 4-IN.EXTERIOR SIDING INTERIOR FINISH MATERIAL SHEATHING VAPOR RETARDER BATT INSULATION IN WOOD FRAME WALL SUBFLOOR RIM JOIST (OPTIONAL CAULKING ABOVE OR BELOW RIM JOIST) 10 BATT INSULATION FIELD-APPLIED TOP PLATE WALL SYSTEM TOP PLATE 11 RIGID INSULATION CAULKED AT ALL EDGES FORMS VAPOR RETARDER (OPTIONAL) 23 Figure 2-13 illustrates a pressure-preservative-treated wood foundation wall. Insulation is placed between the studs similar to a conventional wood frame wall. SAND LAYER (OPTIONAL) 16 PRESSURETREATED PLYWOOD 6-MIL POLY WATER SHEDDING MEMBRANE 6 3/4-W MIN. GRAVEL DRAINAGE LAYER DRAINS TO SUMP 30 Figure 2-13: Pressure-Preservative-Treated Wood Basement Wall Page 30 Chapter 2—Basement Construction . PRESSURE-TREATED FOOTING PLATE GRAVEL FOOTING PAD BENEATH FOOTING PLATE 27 W 1/2-W MIN. 1/2-W MIN. MESH 16 36 2-IN. CEILING FINISH MATERIAL GROUND SLOPES AWAY FROM WALL AT 5% (6" IN 10 FT) 2 PRESSURE-TREATED WOOD FRAME WALL 28 INSULATION 29 VAPOR RETARDER INTERIOR FINISH MATERIAL LOW PERMEABILITY SOIL (OPTIONAL) 3 COARSE GRAVEL BACKFILL ON LOWER HALF OF WALL 26 2-IN. CONCRETE SLAB WITH OPTIONAL W. AIR SPACE 35 4-IN.

Backfill or drainage materials: Porous backfill sand or gravel should be used against the walls to promote drainage. Generally. 4 bars running continuously 2 inches below the top of the wall and above/below window openings are recommended. Exterior insulation materials: Acceptable materials for exterior insulation are: (1) extruded polystyrene boards (XEPS) under any condition. concrete slabs should not rest on footings or ledges of foundation walls if possible to avoid cracking due to settlement. and (3) fiberglass or MEPS drainage boards when an adequate drainage system is provided at the footing. Caulking: Caulking at the following interfaces minimizes air leakage: foundation wall/sill plate. Concrete footing: All concrete footings must be designed with adequate size to distribute the load to the soil and be placed beneath the maximum frost penetration depth or insulated to prevent frost penetration. Parging is recommended on the exterior surface of masonry walls before dampproofing. Rigid insulation placed in the joint prevents a thermal bridge when there is insulation beneath the slab. Waterproofing is recommended on sites with anticipated water problems or poor drainage. a 4-inch-diameter perforated drainpipe should be installed in the gravel. a concrete mixture with a low water/cement ratio is recommended. (Optional) 4. 7. 12. Backfill cover: Backfill around the foundation should be covered with a low permeability soil. The drainage mat should extend down to a drainpipe at the footing level. Surface drainage: The ground surface should slope downward at least 5 percent (6 inches) over the first 10 feet surrounding the basement wall to direct surface runoff away from the building. no reinforcing is required in an 8inch-thick basement wall with up to 7 feet of fill. Perforated drainpipes should be placed with holes facing downward alongside the footing on either the outside or inside. fiberglass. Generally. Concrete slab: A minimum slab thickness of 4 inches is recommended using concrete with a minimum compressive strength of 2500 psi. In place of porous backfill. Sill plate: The sill plate should be at least 8 inches above grade and should be pressurepreservative treated to resist decay. Concrete used in spread footings should have a minimum compressive strength of 2500 psi. a gravel bed placed along the footing will provide adequate drainage. 3.NOTES FOR ALL DETAILED BASEMENT DRAWINGS (FIGURES 2-8 THROUGH 2-13) 1. a liquid sealant should be poured into the joint over a foam backing rod. Crack control reinforcing in walls: Even when no structural reinforcing is required.to 6-inch slump. Exterior insulation should be placed over the waterproofing. Builder’s Foundation Handbook Page 31 . rim joist/subfloor. No additional water should be added at the job site. Two No. Insulation protection: Exterior insulation materials should not be exposed above grade. 8. 6. 15. Most codes require bolts of 1/2-inch minimum diameter to be embedded at least 7 inches into the wall. Generally. to divert surface runoff away from the foundation. (Optional) 11. anchor bolts can be placed at a maximum spacing of 6 feet and no further than 1 foot from any corner. Downspouts and gutters should be used to collect roof drainage and direct it away from the foundation walls. An alternative technique is to pour the slab on a layer of sand or drainage board material above the vapor retarder to minimize cracking. If a slab is poured directly over an impermeable vapor retarder or insulation board. reinforcing is desirable to minimize shrinkage cracking. where there are stable soils in areas of low seismic activity. sill plate/rim joist. or a membrane beneath the top layer of soil. Backfill should be compacted so that settlement is minimized. An alternative is to cover these points on the exterior with an air barrier material. Drainpipes should slope 1 inch in 20 feet and lead to an outfall or sump. Surface or roof drainage systems should never be connected to the subsurface drainage system. galvanized metal or aluminum flashing. or wood substrate. Dampproofing/waterproofing: A dampproof coating covered by a 4-mil layer of polyethylene is recommended to reduce vapor transmission from the soil through the basement wall. 16. (Optional) 13. Welded wire fabric placed 2 inches below the slab surface is recommended to control shrinkage cracks in areas of high radon and termite hazard. (Optional) 9. They should be covered by a protective material — such as exterior grade plastic. 2. Filter fabric: A filter fabric over the gravel bed and drainpipe is recommended to prevent clogging of the drainage area with fine soil particles. Anchor bolts in concrete walls: Anchor bolts should be embedded in the top of concrete foundation walls to resist uplift. (Optional) 5. a cementitious coating. masonry. Isolation joint: An isolation joint should be provided at the slab edge to permit vertical movement without cracking. The top of the pipe should be below the level of the underside of the basement floor slab. Where radon is a concern. Cast-in-place concrete wall: Concrete used in the wall should have a minimum compressive strength of 2500 psi with a 4. Waterproofing should be placed on the exterior directly over the concrete. Outside placement is preferred for drainage but inside placement is less susceptible to failure. The pipe should be surrounded by at least 6 inches of gravel on the sides and 4 inches of gravel above and below the pipe. or a rigid protection board — extending at least 6 inches below grade. a drainage mat material or insulating drainage board can be placed against the foundation wall. Drainage system: Where drainage problems are not anticipated. (2) molded expanded polystyrene boards (MEPS) for vertical applications when porous backfill and adequate drainage are provided. Where conditions warrant. subfloor/above-grade wall plate. 14. Waterproofing should extend down to the level of the drainage system at the footing. 10. A vertical clean-out pipe with an above-grade capped end is recommended to flush out the system. Wrapping the filter fabric around the entire gravel bed is an optional technique for better protection against clogging.

With fiberglass insulation placed between the wood joists. 31. or (3) by use of reinforcing dowels. Gravel backfill for wood foundation: Coarse gravel backfill should be placed against the lower half of the walls to promote drainage. whichever is less. 29. use a compressible foam plastic sill sealer or equivalent. The sump area should be at least 24 inches deep and either 16 inches in diameter or 16 inches square. To provide adequate anchorage in a masonry wall. and the bed should extend out from the footing at least 6 inches on each side (or one-half of the bottom wall plate width). Most codes require bolts of 1/2inch minimum diameter embedded at least 7 inches into the wall. Local codes should be consulted for specific requirements. (Optional unless required) 22. (Optional) 21. or foam insulations are placed within the stud cavities of a wood foundation system and a vapor retarder is placed on the warm side of the wall. (2) by use of a keyway. Insulation inside rim joist: Insulation can be placed on the inside of the rim joist but with greater risk of condensation problems and less access to wood joists and sills for inspection from the interior. whichever is greater). Bond beam on masonry wall: When required by code or structural consideration. 1987). (Optional) 19. Air space: A 2-inch air space should be provided between the end of the insulation and the bottom plate. no reinforcing is required in a 12-inch-thick masonry wall with up to 6 feet of fill. These floors are required to resist the lateral loads being imposed at the bottom of the foundation wall as well as to resist excessive deflection from the vertical floor load. Interior insulation materials: For interior placement. Beneath the wall the gravel layer should be at least 6 inches thick (or three-quarters of the bottom wall plate width. blown. 35. Moisture barrier and wall/footing connection: The concrete wall should be anchored to the footing in one of three ways: (1) sufficient roughening of the top of the footing to prevent sliding. it must be grouted into block cores.17. (Optional) 34. Low permeability rigid insulation (such as extruded polystyrene) should be used. In some locations. 33. Crack control reinforcing in footing: Reinforcing bars placed 2 inches below the top of the footing running parallel to the wall are recommended where differential settlement is a potential problem. 18. (2) molded expanded polystyrene boards (MEPS) when the compressive strength is sufficient and adequate drainage is provided. and can be formed with clay tile flue liner or concrete pipe. Backfill should be lightly compacted so that settlement is minimized. Anchor bolts in masonry walls: Anchor bolts should be embedded in the top of masonry foundation walls. 27. blown. Page 32 Chapter 2—Basement Construction . anchor bolts can be placed at a maximum spacing of 6 feet and no further than 1 foot from any corner. 28. 32. Generally. Gravel beneath floor of wood foundation system: A 4-inch layer of gravel should be beneath the floor of a wood foundation system with a sump area located in the middle of the basement. Masonry wall: Generally where there are stable soils in areas of low seismic activity. or a vapor retarder should be placed on the inside of the insulation and sealed to all surrounding surfaces. 25. The sump must drain to daylight or be provided with a pump (National Forest Products Association. Using a bond beam or filling the cores of the upper courses of block also are recommended as radon and termite prevention techniques. When reinforcing is required. Ceiling insulation: Insulation placement in the basement ceiling is an effective alternative where an unconditioned basement is acceptable and ducts are adequately insulated. bolts either must be embedded in a bond beam or the appropriate cores of the upper course of block must be filled with mortar. Vapor retarder: A 6-mil polyethylene vapor retarder should be placed beneath the slab to reduce moisture transmission and radon infiltration into the basement. Gravel bed beneath wood foundation wall: A compacted gravel bed may serve as the footing under a wood foundation wall. virtually any batt. the vapor retarder should be on the warm side of the insulation facing upwards. Insulation in wood foundation walls: Batt. 24. a bond beam provides additional lateral strength in a masonry wall. Gasket: To minimize air leakage. pressurepreservative-treated wood floors are sometimes used in conjunction with wood foundations. Vertical bars should be spaced no more than 48 inches apart or 6 times the wall thickness. 23. (Optional) 20. Most products require a thermal barrier for fire protection. 26. codes require bolts to be embedded 15 inches in masonry walls to resist uplift. Insulation under the slab: Acceptable materials for underslab insulation are: (1) extruded polystyrene boards (XEPS) under any condition. Wall construction and material specifications are found in the National Forest Products Association design manual (NFPA 1987). or foam insulation is acceptable. Gravel layer under slab: A 4-inch gravel layer should be placed under the concrete floor slab for drainage where local conditions suggest basement leakage may be a problem. 30. 36. Weep holes: Two-inch-diameter weep holes through the footing 4 to 8 feet apart may be used to connect the underfloor drainage layer to the drainage system outside the footing. A through-wall moisture barrier is recommended between a concrete wall and footing to prevent capillary draw. The use of foam insulation does not require a frame wall—only furring strips are required. and (3) insulating drainage boards with sufficient compressive strength. Wood foundation walls: Wood foundation walls must be designed to resist lateral and vertical loads and must be constructed of lumber and plywood that is properly treated to resist decay. Pressure-preservative-treated wood floor: Instead of a concrete floor slab.

4 Checklist for Design and Construction of Basements This checklist serves as a chapter summary. helps review the completeness of construction drawings and specifications. use one set of blanks during design and the second set during construction inspection. buried cables.2. foundation drain outfalls. changes in boundaries ____ Establish grading tolerances ____ Provide intercepting drains upgrade of foundation if needed ____ Locate dry wells and recharge pits below foundation level ____ Establish precautions for stabilizing excavation ____ Establish limits of excavation and determine trees. driveways. bulkheads.. “finish grade” (landscape contractor) ____ Establish elevations of finish grades. Make sure footing is deeper under basement walkouts ____ Confirm adequacy of footing sizes ____ Do not fill the overexcavated footing trench ____ Install longitudinal reinforcing (two No. pipes. etc. drainage swales. other elements attached to structure). Use different symbols to distinguish items that have been satisfied (+) from those that have been checked but do not apply (x). SITEWORK ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ Locate building at the highest point if the site is wet ____ Define “finish subgrade” (grading contractor). 5 bars 2 inches from top) ____ Reinforce footing at spans over utility trenches ____ Do not bear footings partially on rock (sand fill) ____ Do not pour footings on frozen ground ____ Indicate minimum concrete compressive strength after 28 days ____ Call out elevations of top of footings and dimension elevation changes in plan ____ Use keyway or steel dowels to anchor walls ____ Dimension stepped footings according to local codes and good practice (conform to masonry dimensions if applicable) ____ Provide weep holes (minimum 2-inch diameter at 4 feet to 8 feet on center) ____ Provide through-joint flashing as a capillary break ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ Builder’s Foundation Handbook Page 33 . “base grade” (construction contractor). and provides general guidance on project management. to be protected from damage ____ Confirm elevation of water table ____ Determine type and dimensions of drainage systems ____ Discharge roof drainage away from foundation ____ Remove stumps and grubbing debris from site ____ Provide frost heave protection for winter construction ____ Call for test hole (full depth hole in proposed foundation location) ____ Locate stakes and benchmarks ____ Strip and stock pile topsoil ____ Define spoil site FOOTINGS ____ ____ Position bottom of footing at least 6 inches below frost depth around perimeter (frost wall at garage. curbs. slabs supporting roofs. Note that not all measures are necessary under all conditions. The checklist could be used many ways. sewers. property corners. For example. roots. catch basins. “rough grade” level before topsoil is respread. 4 or No. Leave unfinished items unchecked.

details Determine top of wall elevations and changes in wall height Determine brick shelf widths and elevations CONCRETE MASONRY WALLS ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ Specify mortar mixes and strengths ____ Size walls to resist height of fill. and loads transmitted through soil from adjacent foundations Use two-way reinforcing (horizontal and vertical) for strength. priming) ____ For crack control. cold. (Note: add no water at site) Determine allowable slump Determine acceptable and unacceptable admixtures Establish curing requirements (special hot. dry conditions) Determine surface finish Provide shrinkage control: WWF reinforcement or control joints Provide isolation joints at wall perimeter and column pads Provide vapor retarder under slab Provide sand layer over vapor retarder or insulation board Compact fill under slab Page 34 Chapter 2—Basement Construction . loads transmitted through soil from adjacent foundations ____ Grout top courses of block to receive anchor bolts ____ Indicate special details for proprietary masonry systems ____ Ensure that the surface quality is suitable to WPM ____ Prepare exterior surface for application of dampproofing or WPM (special preparation consisting of cement parging. seismic loads. (Note: add no water at site) Determine allowable slump Determine acceptable and unacceptable admixtures Determine form-release agents acceptable to WPM manufacturer Establish curing requirements (special hot. termite and radon resistance Establish anchor bolt depth and spacing requirements.BASEMENT CHECKLIST (PAGE 2 OF 5) CAST-IN-PLACE CONCRETE WALLS ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ Determine minimum compressive strength after 28 days Determine maximum water/cement ratio. and install accordingly Provide cast-in-place anchors for joist ends Establish beam pocket elevations. use bond beam or horizontal joint reinforcing FLOOR SLAB ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ Determine minimum compressive strength after 28 days Determine maximum water/cement ratio. seismic loads. watertightness. dimensions. dry conditions) Establish surface finish requirements and preparation for WPM (plug all form tie holes) For shrinkage control: use horizontal reinforcing at top of wall and/or control joints Design width of wall to resist height of fill. cold.

Waterproofing is usually recommended for all below-grade living and work spaces.BASEMENT CHECKLIST (PAGE 3 OF 5) BACKFILLING AND COMPACTION ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ Establish minimum concrete strength or curing prior to backfilling Use high early strength concrete if necessary Install temporary wall support during backfilling Establish condition of fill material (if site material stays in clump after soaking and squeezing in hand. Waterproof membranes (WPM) dampproof. do not use as backfill) ____ Determine proper compaction ____ Cap backfill with an impermeable cover SUBDRAINAGE General considerations. but dampproofing does not waterproof. and foundation drain systems ____ Call out gravel or crushed stone envelope around drainpipe and wrap with a synthetic filter fabric ____ Locate clean-outs for flushing the system ____ Install porous backfill or wall-mounted drainage product ____ Provide minimum 4-inch-thick gravel or stone layer under slab ____ If large flow of water is anticipated. ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ Use gravel pad and footing weep holes ____ Position high end of footing drains below underside of floor slab (Note: outside footing placement is preferred for drainage. roof. (2) prevent ponds of rainwater and snow melt in the backfill. ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ Either dampproof or waterproof walls ____ Place a polyethylene vapor retarder under floor slabs (optional sand layer between polyethylene and slab) ____ Place a continuous WPM under slab for basements below groundwater (special detailing and reinforcement required for support) ____ Install control and expansion joints according to recommendations of WPM manufacturer ____ Provide protection board for WPM Builder’s Foundation Handbook Page 35 . inside placement is less susceptible to failure) ____ Ensure footing drain is pitched ____ Lay footing drain on compacted bedding (minimum 4 inches thick) ____ Set unperforated leaders to drain to outfall (hand backfill first 8 inches to avoid damaging pipe) ____ Ensure that transitions are smooth between pipes of different slopes ____ Separate surface. use curtain drain to intercept MOISTUREPROOFING General considerations. Dampproofing provides a capillary break and serves as a vapor retarder. Footing drains (1) draw down the ground water level. (2) acts as a distribution and temporary storage pad for water that drains through the backfill and would otherwise form ponds at the bottom. The underslab drainage layer (1) conveys rising groundwater laterally to collecting drain lines.

rim joists. ____ Pressure-treat all outdoor weather-exposed wood members ____ Install dampproof membrane under sill plate and beams in pockets (flashing or sill seal gasket) ____ Leave minimum 1/2-inch air space around beams in beam pockets ____ Expose sill plates and rim joists for inspection ____ Elevate sill plate minimum 8 inches above exterior grade ____ Elevate wood posts and framing supporting porches. stairs. Difficulty of vapor sealing at the rim joist generally favors exterior insulation. Strategy: (1) Isolate wood members from soil by an air space or impermeable barrier. 5 bars) along the top and bottom to resist settlement cracking Page 36 Chapter 2—Basement Construction . Exterior insulation maintains the wall close to indoor temperature. ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ Verify that wall insulation R-value and depth meet local codes and/or recommendations from this handbook ____ Insulate ceiling in unconditioned basements ____ If used.. Interior and integral insulations require a vapor retarder at the inside surface. Pressure-treated lumber is less susceptible to attack. above grade (6-inch minimum) on concrete piers ____ Elevate wood siding. walls. but is no substitute for proper detailing. sill plates. ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ Pressure-treat wood posts. especially with insulated foundations ____ Reinforce slab-on-grade ____ Remove all grade stakes. spreader sticks. wood members in contact with foundation piers. door sills. patios for drainage (minimum 1/4 in/ft) ____ Treat soil with termiticide.BASEMENT CHECKLIST (PAGE 4 OF 5) THERMAL AND VAPOR CONTROLS General considerations. (2) expose critical areas for inspection. floors. decks. specify exterior insulation product suitable for in-ground use ____ Install protective coating for exterior insulation ____ Install polyethylene slip sheet between soil and wall (nondrainage) insulation ____ Install vapor retarder at inside face of internally and integrally insulated walls ____ Place a fire-protective cover over combustible insulations ____ Install infiltration sealing gasket under sill plate ____ Seal air leakage penetrations through rim joists ____ Install an air barrier outside rim joist DECAY AND TERMITE CONTROL General considerations. other finish wood members at least 6 inches above grade (rain splash protection) ____ Separate raised porches and decks from the building by 2-inch horizontal clearance for drainage and termite inspection (or provide proper flashing) ____ Pitch porches. Termite shields are not reliable barriers unless installed correctly. decks. This can eliminate the need for vapor retarders on the interior and keeps rubber and asphalt-based moistureproofing warm and pliable. etc. and wood embedded in concrete during pour ____ Do not disturb treated soil prior to pouring concrete slab ____ Reinforce cast-in-place concrete walls (with No. etc.

price. payment schedule. and procedure for firing) ____ Acquire building permits ____ SITE INSPECTIONS DURING CONSTRUCTION ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ After excavation and before concrete is poured for the footings After the footings have been poured before foundation wall construction After foundation construction and dampproofing before rough framing After rough framing After rough plumbing and electrical After insulation installation before drywall and backfilling in case of exterior insulation ____ Final Page 37 Builder’s Foundation Handbook . attic stairs Install polyethylene vapor retarder as floor underlayment between first floor and unconditioned basement Reinforce cast-in-place concrete walls (with No. unless mechanical trap valves are used Lay minimum 4-inch-thick layer of coarse. excavation allowance. ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ Separate outdoor intakes for combustion devices Install air barrier wrap around superstructure Seal around flues. CONTRACTS. AND BUILDING PERMITS ____ ____ ____ ____ Complete plans and specifications ____ Complete bid package ____ Establish contractual arrangements (describe principals. handling of change orders. bond beam. state the start/completion dates. The potential for radon hazard is present in all buildings. its rate of entry through the foundation depends on suction due to stack effect and superstructure air leakage. chases. clean gravel under slab Cast 4-inch-diameter PVC tubing standpipes (capped) into slab PLANS. or cap block Parge exterior face of masonry walls Install continuous moistureproofing on the outside of masonry walls Reinforce slab-on-grade Remove all grade stakes. and (3) provisions to simplify retrofit. (2) air management. Check state and local health agencies for need of protection. handling of disputes. Strategies include: (1) barriers. and wood embedded in concrete during pour Form perimeter wall/floor joint trough for pour-in sealant Place vapor retarder under slab (with optional sand layer) Caulk joints around pipes and conduits Install sump pit with airtight cover Vent sump pit to outside Do not use floor drains.BASEMENT CHECKLIST (PAGE 5 OF 5) RADON CONTROL General considerations. vent stacks. Since radon is a gas. spreader sticks. use bond beam or horizontal joint reinforcing Seal top of hollow masonry walls with solid block. describe the work by referencing the blueprints and specs. 5 bars) along the top and bottom to resist settlement cracking For crack control in masonry walls.

and radon control.1 presents various insulation configurations along with recommended optimal levels of insulation for vented and unvented crawl spaces. drainage and waterproofing. 3.1 Crawl Space Insulation Placement and Thickness To provide energy use information for buildings with crawl space foundations. Generally most major building codes require vents near each corner. climates (Labs et al. Section 3. heating and cooling loads were simulated for a variety of insulation placements and thicknesses in representative U. construction. Section 3.3 includes a series of alternative construction details with accompanying notes indicating specific practices. Two types of crawl spaces were analyzed for energy purposes — vented and unvented. termite and decay control.2 summarizes crawl space design and construction practices in the following areas: structural design. The temperature of the vented crawl space varies between the interior house temperature and the exterior temperature. The unvented crawl space is assumed to have vents fully Chapter 3—Crawl Space Construction Figure 3-1: Concrete Crawl Space Wall with Exterior Insulation Page 38 . 1988).CHAPTER 3 Crawl Space Construction This chapter summarizes suggested practices related to crawl spaces. and site inspection of a crawl space. Section 3. These vents may have operable louvers. location of insulation.4 is a checklist to be used during the design. Section 3.S. The vented crawl space is assumed to have venting area openings of 1 square foot per 1500 square feet of floor area.

the cost of installation must be compared to these savings. Crawl spaces can vary in height and relationship to exterior grade. Although simulation results for crawl spaces with higher walls and deeper footings are not shown here. The economic methodology used to determine the insulation levels in Table 3-1 is consistent with ASHRAE standard 90. For vented crawl spaces. and never exceeds 18 years for any of the recommended levels.2P. batt insulation is placed in the cavities between the wood studs. Such a comparison can be done in several ways. Unvented crawl spaces insulated at the perimeter are similar to unheated basements. placing insulation horizontally on the crawl space floor in addition to the wall is frequently the optimal configuration. a life cycle cost analysis (presented in worksheet form in Chapter 5) is recommended since it takes into account a number of economic variables including installation costs. Where there is no darkened circle in a particular category. Economically optimal configurations are shown by the darkened circles in Table 3-1 in the following categories: (1) unvented crawl spaces with concrete/masonry walls and exterior insulation. 1988) to find recommendations for a greater number of cities and for a detailed explanation of the methodology. Recommended Insulation Levels While increasing the amount of crawl space insulation produces greater energy savings. It is assumed in the analysis that follows that crawl space walls are 2 feet high with only the upper 8 inches of the foundation wall exposed above grade on the exterior side. HVAC efficiencies. mortgage rates. (3) unvented crawl spaces with wood walls. Similar levels of interior insulation are recommended. leaving only gaps in construction that could allow infiltration. insulation is placed between the floor joists in the crawl space ceiling. and there is a different optimal amount of insulation for interior insulation. Insulation Configurations and Costs Table 3-1 includes illustrations and descriptions of a variety of crawl space insulation configurations.closed. In order to identify the most economical amount of insulation for the crawl space configurations shown in Table 3-1.S. If the crawl space wall is higher than 2 feet. (2) unvented crawl spaces with concrete/masonry walls and interior insulation. With pressure-preservative-treated wood construction.S. there is an optimal amount of exterior insulation recommended for a given climate and fuel price. the need for insulation placed deeper than 2 feet in cold climates is obvious and is reflected by the economic benefits of placing insulation on the floor of a shallower crawl space. However in colder climates. In an unvented crawl space. See the Building Foundation Design Handbook (Labs et al. For unvented crawl spaces with pressure-preservative-treated wood walls. but the different categories of cases are not directly compared with each other. and (2) covering the entire wall on the interior. For unvented crawl spaces with concrete/masonry walls. and (4) vented crawl spaces with concrete walls. In a vented crawl space. In addition to these conventional approaches. The simple payback averages 13 years for all U. the case with the lowest 30-year life cycle cost was determined for five U. the two most common approaches to insulating concrete/masonry walls are (1) covering the entire wall on the exterior. insulation is not economically justified under the assumptions used. climate zones. In vented crawl spaces. cities at three different fuel cost levels. insulation can be placed on the interior wall and horizontally on the perimeter of the crawl space floor (extending either 2 or 4 feet into the space). Two basic construction systems are shown for unvented crawl spaces — a concrete (or masonry) foundation wall and a pressure-preservativetreated wood foundation wall. ceiling insulation Builder’s Foundation Handbook Page 39 . as it often must be to reach frost depth in a colder climate. however. In other words. and fuel escalation rates. exterior insulation ranging from R-5 to R-10 is justified at all fuel price levels (shown in Table 3-2) in all climate zones except the warmest one. concrete (or masonry) walls are shown. with temperatures that fluctuate between 50OF and 70OF most of the year. insulation ranging from R-11 to R-19 is justified in moderate and colder climates. Configurations are recommended for a range of climates and fuel prices in each of these categories. depending on climate and insulation placement. it is advisable to extend the vertical insulation to the footing.

These recommendations are based on assumptions that are summarized at the end of section 3.Pressure-Treated Wood Foundation Walls WITHIN WOOD WALL NO INSULATION 2 FT: R-11 BATT 2 FT: R-19 BATT D: Vented Crawl Space . The darkened circle represents the recommended level of insulation in each column for each of the four basic insulation configurations.1 and further explained in chapter 5. L. 2. 3.Table 3-1: Insulation Recommendations for Crawl Spaces A: Unvented Crawl Space . medium. H. and high fuel cost levels indicated in Table 3-2.Concrete or Masonry Foundation Walls with Exterior Insulation RECOMMENDED CONFIGURATIONS AT THREE FUEL PRICE LEVELS CONFIGURATION DESCRIPTION 0-2000 HDD (LOS ANG) L EXTERIOR VERTICAL NO INSULATION 2 FT: R-5 RIGID 2 FT: R-10 RIGID M H 2-4000 HDD (FT WORTH) L M H 4-6000 HDD (KAN CITY) L M H 6-8000 HDD (CHICAGO) L M H 8-10000 HDD (MPLS) L M H B: Unvented Crawl Space .Concrete or Masonry Foundation Walls with Interior Insulation INTERIOR VERTICAL NO INSULATION 2 FT: R-5 RIGID 2 FT: R-10 RIGID INTERIOR VERTICAL AND HORIZONTAL 2 FT/2 FT: R-5 RIGID 2 FT/4 FT: R-5 RIGID 2 FT/2 FT: R-10 RIGID 2 FT/4 FT: R-10 RIGID C: Unvented Crawl Space .Concrete or Masonry Foundation Walls with Ceiling Insulation CEILING NO INSULATION R-11 BATT R-19 BATT R-30 BATT 1. Page 40 Chapter 3—Crawl Space Construction . and M refer to the low.

effectiveness.791 / GALLON . thermal results are Fuel price assumptions used in this analysis very similar for equivalent amounts of are shown in Table 3-2.344 / GALLON MEDIUM PRICE LEVEL ($) . All costs include a 30 percent In spite of the apparent energy efficiency builder markup and a 30 percent of wood versus concrete/masonry basement subcontractor markup for overhead and walls.2 with 10 percent interior placement is always economically duct losses. the economic benefit of interior versus all climates at all fuel price levels.187 / GALLON . this is only one of many cost and profit. polystyrene. performance.costs used in this analysis are based on effective than insulating concrete/masonry average U. This increased cost mortgage conditions are selected to allow for an exterior insulation is attributed to the maximum simple payback of 18 years with need for protective covering and a higher average paybacks of about 13 years.051 / KWH . quality rigid insulation that can withstand The total installed costs for all insulation exposure to water and soil pressure.114 / KWH ranging from R-11 to R-30 is recommended in wall. With pressure-preservative-treated wood Likewise. In all cases the choice of foundation type and existing spaces between floor joists insulation system must be based on many represents a much smaller incremental cost factors in addition to energy costthan placing rigid insulation on the walls. Since it is assumed that exterior system efficiency is 68 percent and the insulation costs more to install.561 / THERM . Although ceiling insulation in a vented crawl space appears more cost-effective than Insulating the ceiling of a vented crawl wall insulation in an unvented space. performance issues to be considered. Thus higher levels of insulation are recommended in the floor above a vented crawl space than for the walls of an unvented Assumptions space. on a concrete/masonry foundation construction. Installation preservative-treated wood walls is more cost. When exterior and interior insulation are These general recommendations are compared for an unvented crawl space with based on a set of underlying assumptions. cooling system SEER is 9. costs relatively low. a higher R-value is include labor and materials for expanded economically justified for wood wall systems. This is because placing mineral wool batt insulation into the exposed to freezing temperatures.775 / GALLON COOLING ELECTRICITY . batt insulation is placed in the Builder’s Foundation Handbook Page 41 . For the exterior walls to an equivalent level. This is because cases.076 / KWH . systems considered in this analysis are Generally. Thus.516 / GALLON HIGH PRICE LEVEL ($) . costs in 1987. and aesthetic considerations discussed elsewhere in this Comparison of Insulation Systems book. insulating pressureshown in Table 5-2 in chapter 5.842 / THERM 1.S. concrete/masonry walls. a space is generally more cost-effective than vented crawl space may be undesirable in insulating the walls of an unvented crawl colder climates since pipes and ducts may be space to an equivalent level.374 / THERM . The total heating insulation. For the interior cases. Energy price inflation and optimal in comparison. costs include labor and materials for the cavity exists between studs in a wood extruded polystyrene insulation and the wall system and the incremental cost of required protective covering and flashing installing batt insulation in these cavities is above grade. however.Table 3-2: Fuel Price Levels Used to Develop Recommended Insulation Levels in Table 3-1 SEASON FUEL TYPE NATURAL GAS HEATING FUEL OIL PROPANE LOW PRICE LEVEL ($) .527 / GALLON . exterior insulation may be offset by other practical.

Venting can complement other moisture and radon control measures such as ground cover and proper drainage. and can be detailed to minimize condensation hazards. or pressure-treated wood. and. Pressurizing the crawl space is one potentially effective method of minimizing soil gas uptake.” by the University of Illinois’s Small Homes Council (Jones 1980). is subject to less moisture hazard in most cases. simplifies installation difficulties in some cases. and venting is clearly incompatible with crawl spaces used as heat distribution plenums. The principal disadvantages of a vented crawl space over an unvented one are that (1) pipes and ducts must be insulated against heat loss and freezing. it will not necessarily solve a serious problem. It should be recognized that a crawl space can be designed as a short basement (with slurry slab floor). venting of crawl spaces may be desirable in areas of high radon hazard. depending on the construction details and cost assumptions. the soil Chapter 3—Crawl Space Construction . mortgage conditions. HVAC efficiencies. However.cavities between the wood studs. and fuel escalation rates. project-specific optimal insulation levels can be determined using actual estimated construction costs with the worksheet provided in chapter 5. In fact. which may increase the cost. there are several advantages to designing crawl spaces as semi-heated zones. Nevertheless. Soil type and the groundwater level are key factors influencing moisture conditions. 3. Duct and pipe insulation can be reduced. Although unvented crawl spaces have been recommended. venting should not be considered a reliable radon mitigation strategy. Costs for wood foundations reflect the additional cost of installing insulation with an ASTM E-84 flame spread index of 25 or less in a wood foundation wall. Viewed in this way. STRUCTURAL DESIGN The major structural components of a crawl space are the wall and the footing (see Figure 3-2). moisture problems in crawl spaces are common enough that many agencies are unwilling to endorse closing the vents yearround. It is not necessary to vent a crawl space for moisture control if it is open to an adjacent basement. although increased air flow in the crawl space may offer some dilution potential for ground source moisture and radon. actual insulation costs. concrete masonry units. the reader can determine the approximate recommended insulation level for a location by finding the heating degree days from Table 5-1 in chapter 5 and selecting the appropriate climate zone and fuel price level shown in Table 3-1. but the crawl space walls and ceiling must be tightly constructed for this approach to be effective. However. Costeffectiveness can vary considerably. the user can incorporate local energy prices. having a higher floor level. “except under severe moisture conditions. (2) a larger area usually must be insulated. This usually requires less insulation. the main distinction between unvented crawl spaces and basements is in the owner’s accessibility and likelihood of noticing moisture problems. but also Page 42 potentially increase radon infiltration. Crawl space walls are typically constructed of cast-in-place concrete. Although not their original purpose. If not. Vented crawl spaces are often provided with operable vents that can be closed to reduce winter heat losses. If the general assumptions used in this analysis are satisfactory for the specific project. The lateral loads on the wall depend on the height of the fill. The worksheet enables the user to select economic criteria other than allowing maximum simple paybacks of 18 years. Crawl space walls must resist any lateral loads from the soil and vertical loads from the structure above.2 Recommended Design and Construction Details VENTED VERSUS UNVENTED CRAWL SPACES The principal perceived advantage of a vented crawl space over an unvented one is that venting can minimize radon and moisture-related decay hazards by diluting the crawl space air. and (3) in some climates warm humid air circulated into the cool crawl space can actually cause excessive moisture levels in wood. In addition. the vents can also be closed in summer to keep out moist exterior air that can have a dew point above the crawl space temperature. and the foundation is insulated at the crawl space perimeter instead of its ceiling.

Good surface drainage is always recommended and. In these cases. In place of a structural foundation wall and continuous spread footing. it is highly desirable to keep it dry. subsurface drainage systems may be desirable. Where the crawl space floor is at the same level or above the surrounding exterior grade. the structure can be supported on piers or piles with beams in between. in many cases. footings must be below the frost depth with respect to both interior and exterior grade unless otherwise protected. consultation with local building officials and a structural engineer is recommended. and reinforcing are given in the construction details that follow. On sites with a high water table or poorly draining soil. Some simple guidelines for wall thickness. one recommended solution is to keep the Figure 3-2: Components of Crawl Space Structural System Builder’s Foundation Handbook Page 43 . no subsurface drainage system is required (see Figure 3-3). A compacted gravel bed serves as the footing under a wood foundation wall when designed in accordance with the National Forest Products Association’s wood foundation specification (NFPA 1987). The goal of surface drainage is to keep water away from the foundation by sloping the ground surface and using gutters and downspouts for roof drainage. ANCHOR BOLT CONNECTS FOUNDATION WALL TO SUPERSTRUCTURE AND RESISTS WIND UPLIFT WALL RESISTS VERTICAL LOAD FROM ABOVE-GRADE STRUCTURE WALL RESISTS LATERAL LOAD FROM SOIL SPREAD FOOTING DISTRIBUTES VERTICAL LOAD TO GROUND DRAINAGE AND WATERPROOFING Although a crawl space foundation is not as deep as a full basement. Since the interior temperature of a vented crawl space may be below freezing in very cold climates. Footings must be designed with adequate size to distribute the load to the soil and be placed beneath the maximum frost penetration depth unless founded on bedrock or proven non-frostsusceptible soil or insulated to prevent frost penetration. Where expansive soils are present or in areas of high seismic activity. a structural engineer should be consulted. and whether the building is located in an area of low or high seismic activity. special foundation construction techniques may be necessary. These beams between piers support the structure above and transfer the load back to the piers. Where simple limits are exceeded. Concrete spread footings provide support beneath concrete and masonry crawl space walls and/or columns.type and moisture content. concrete strength.

On the other hand.SLOPE GROUND AWAY . placing the crawl space floor below the surface is acceptable with no requirement for a subdrainage system. A SUBSURFACE DRAINAGE SYSTEM IS NOT NECESSARY crawl space floor above or at the same level as exterior grade. assuming drainage is adequate. the insulation is always located in the ceiling. subdrainage may be required on the uphill side if the soil is nonporous. A key question in the design of an unvented crawl space is whether to place insulation inside or outside the wall. In terms of energy use. Figure 3-3: Crawl Space Drainage Techniques SURFACE DRAINAGE TECHNIQUES: . the installation costs.SLOPE GROUND AWAY . protect structural walls at moderate temperatures. In some cases a sump may be necessary. there is not a significant difference between the same amount of insulation applied to the exterior versus the interior of a concrete or masonry wall. a subsurface perimeter drainage system similar to that used for a basement is recommended (see Figure 3-4). and various technical concerns can be quite different. Generally no waterproofing or dampproofing on the exterior foundation walls of crawl spaces is considered necessary. exterior insulation on the wall can be a path for termites and can prevent inspection of the wall from the exterior. Exterior insulation at the rim joist leaves joists and sill plates open to inspection from the interior for termites and decay.SURFACE DRAINAGE TECHNIQUES: . Rigid insulation placed on the exterior surface of a concrete or masonry wall has some advantages over interior placement in that it can provide continuous insulation with no thermal bridges. Vertical exterior insulation on a crawl space wall can extend as deep as the top of the footing and.USE GUTTERS AND DOWNSPOUTS WHEN THE CRAWL SPACE FLOOR IS BELOW EXTERIOR GRADE. LOCATION OF INSULATION If a vented crawl space is insulated. Where it is necessary or desirable to place the crawl space floor beneath the existing grade and the soil is nonporous. ease of application. However. On sites with porous soil and no water table near the surface. and minimize moisture condensation problems. This placement usually leaves sill plates open to inspection for termites or decay. batt insulation is placed between the floor joists. Most commonly. appearance. The depth of these joist spaces accommodates high insulation levels at a relatively low incremental cost. If needed a termite screen should be installed through the insulation where the sill plate rests on the foundation wall.USE GUTTERS AND DOWNSPOUTS WHEN THE CRAWL SPACE FLOOR IS AT OR ABOVE EXTERIOR GRADE. A SUBSURFACE DRAINAGE SYSTEM IS RECOMMENDED IF SOIL IS NONPOROUS Figure 3-4: Crawl Space Drainage Techniques Page 44 Chapter 3—Crawl Space Construction . On a sloping site.

This approach has a relatively low cost and provides sufficient space for considerable insulation thickness. 2. (2) polystyrene beads or granular insulation materials poured into the cavities of conventional masonry walls. and (5) masonry blocks made with polystyrene beads instead of aggregate in the concrete mixture. 1. simply using tight-fitting rigid foam pieces in the spaces between the floor joists is an effective solution. interlocking rigid foam units that serve as a permanent insulating form for cast-in-place concrete. and by installing a complete subdrainage system around the foundation. and scrap wood from the site before. Batt insulation is commonly placed inside the rim joist. there are several systems that incorporate insulation into the construction of the concrete or masonry walls. Treat soil with termiticide on all sites vulnerable to termites. Interior crawl space wall insulation is more common than exterior. This is a more expensive and less likely approach than simply using rigid foam with no furring. interior wall insulation may be considered less desirable than exterior insulation because it (1) increases the exposure of the wall to thermal stress and freezing. during. including wood stakes and formwork from the foundation area. TERMITE AND WOOD DECAY CONTROL TECHNIQUES Techniques for controlling the entry of termites through residential foundations are advisable in much of the United States (see Figure 3-5). can be installed prior to backfilling against the foundation wall or installing the floor. low-cost approach to insulating crawl space walls is simply draping batts with a vapor retarder facing over the inside of the wall. stumps. and a vaporproof installation will prevent easy inspection for termites. With a pressure-preservative-treated wood foundation system. band joists. It is possible to install them in a crawl space similar to a basement installation. to act as a vapor retarder. Consult with local building officials and codes for further details. This rim joist insulation should be covered on the inside face with a polyethylene vapor retarder or a rigid foam insulation. In place of batts. it may also create additional paths for termite entry.if desired. A common. With this approach it is difficult to maintain the continuity of the vapor retarder around the joist ends and to seal the termination of the vapor retarder. codes require the batt vapor retarder cover be approved with respect to flame spread. the effectiveness of systems that insulate only a portion of the wall area should be evaluated closely because thermal bridges through the insulation can impact the total performance significantly. however. insulation is placed in the stud cavities similar to above-grade insulation in a wood frame wall. (3) systems of concrete blocks with insulating foam inserts. (3) often results in some thermal bridges through framing members. Rigid board insulation is easier to apply to the interior wall than batt insulation since it requires no framing for support. Place a bond beam or course of solid cap blocks on top of all concrete masonry foundation walls to ensure that no open cores Builder’s Foundation Handbook Page 45 . On the other hand. One way is to provide a furredout stud wall and a vapor retarder on the studs. These can be laid loosely on the ground at the perimeter to reduce heat loss through the footing. is continuous. Remove all roots. sealed around the edges. These include (1) rigid foam plastic insulation cast within concrete walls. Less expensive batts are an alternative to rigid foam insulation on the interior crawl space wall. Insulation placed around the crawl space floor perimeter can provide additional thermal protection. In addition to more conventional interior or exterior placement covered in this handbook. The following recommendations apply where termites are a potential problem. (4) formed. In most states. resulting in significantly higher R-values. Minimize soil moisture around the foundation by using gutters and downspouts to remove roof water. and may require no additional vapor retarder. and (4) may require installation of a flame spread resistant cover. primarily because it is less expensive since no protective covering is required. be supplemented by extending the insulation horizontally from the face of the foundation wall. 3. Good installations are difficult because of cramped working conditions. 4. However. and joist ends. and after construction. (2) may increase the likelihood of condensation on sill plates.

but should not be relied upon as a barrier. 7.INSTALL SUBSURFACE DRAINAGE SYSTEM Figure 3-5: Termite Control Techniques for Crawl Spaces RADON CONTROL TECHNIQUES Construction techniques for minimizing radon infiltration into a crawl space are appropriate if there is a reasonable Page 46 Chapter 3—Crawl Space Construction . 6. or place posts on flashing or on a concrete pedestal raised 8 inches above the interior grade. Alternatively. However. Since termite shields are often damaged or not installed carefully enough. Insulation installations can be detailed for ease of inspection. AND SCRAP WOOD FROM FOUNDATION AREA BOND BEAM. but they can provide protective cover and easy tunnelling. Be sure that exterior wood siding and trim is at least 6 inches above the final grade. ABOVE GRADE REMOVE ROOTS. PLACED ON FLASHING. OR PLACED ON A CONCRETE PEDESTAL 8 IN.USE GUTTERS AND DOWNSPOUTS . TRUNKS. termite shields offer protection through detailing. In principle. Use pressure-preservative-treated wood posts within a crawl space. 5. fill all cores on the top course with mortar. porches and exterior slabs should be separated from all wood members by a 2-inch gap visible for inspection or by a continuous metal flashing soldered at all seams. Plastic foam and batt insulation materials have no food value to termites. and reinforce the mortar joint beneath the top course. they are considered optional and should not be regarded as sufficient defense by themselves. ABOVE FLOOR TREAT SOIL FOR TERMITES MINIMIZE SOIL MOISTURE . the restrictions on some traditionally used termiticides may make this option either unavailable or cause the substitution of products that are more expensive and possibly less effective. ABOVE GRADE WOOD SIDING 6-IN. PRESSURE-PRESERVATIVE TREATED SILL PLATE 8-IN.are left exposed. These concerns over insulation and the unreliability of termite shields have led to the conclusion that soil treatment is the most effective technique to control termites with an insulated foundation. Construct porches and exterior slabs so that they slope away from the foundation wall and are at least 2 inches below exterior siding. although often by sacrificing thermal efficiency. MIN. In addition. This situation should encourage insulation techniques that enhance visual inspection and provide effective barriers to termites. OR FILLED UPPER COURSE OF MASONRY WALL WOOD POSTS SHOULD BE TREATED. 8. CAP BLOCK. MIN. The sill plate should be visible for inspection from the interior. Place the sill plate at least 8 inches above grade. it should be pressurepreservative treated to resist decay.

3. Render crawl space walls separating an attached vented crawl space from a basement or living space as airtight as possible. 1. Enclose large openings such as at bath tub drains with sheet metal or other rigid material and sealants. Seal all penetrations through the subfloor with caulk. 2-4) SECURELY TAPE ALL JOINTS IN DUCTWORK IF POSSIBLE AVOID PLACING DUCTWORK IN CRAWL SPACE PLACE 6-MIL POLY OVER FLOOR AND SEAL TO WALLS Figure 3-6: Radon Control Techniques for Crawl Spaces Builder’s Foundation Handbook Page 47 . Place a 6-mil polyethylene vapor retarder over all exposed soil floor areas.probability that radon is present (see Figure 3-6). 6. If the crawl space is unvented or if indoor radon levels could be moderate to high. Tongue and groove plywood floor decking should be applied with butt joints continuously glued to floor joists with a waterproof construction adhesive. Construct floors above unconditioned spaces with a continuous air infiltration barrier. Seal edges to the interior face of the foundation wall. This may also include pressurization of the crawl space or soil gas removal from beneath the crawl space soil covering. but it may be installed providing all joints are securely taped or otherwise tightly sealed. To determine this. For crawl spaces susceptible to low radon exposure. 5. CONSTRUCT FLOOR WITH CONTINUOUS AIR BARRIER SEAL ALL PENETRATIONS THROUGH FLOOR WITH CAULKING PROVIDE SUBSTANTIAL OUTSIDE AIR FOR VENTILATION IF CRAWL SPACE IS UNVENTED. A second more reliable radon control solution is to control and isolate the source as suggested for basement construction in Chapter 2. follow the radon control techniques recommended for basements (see Chapter 2). provide substantial outside air ventilation. 2. Avoid duct work in the crawl space if possible. Overlap edges 12 inches and seal. contact the state health department or environmental protection office. 4. APPLY RADON CONTROL TECHNIQUES FOR BASEMENTS (SEE FIG. Place vents on all four sides of the crawl space.

galvanized metal or aluminum flashing. There is with insulation placed in the floor joists no one set of perfect solutions. They should be covered by a protective material — such as exterior grade plastic. variations in construction systems and EXAMPLE OF NOTES CORRESPONDING TO CONSTRUCTION DRAWING: RIM JOIST PROTECTION BOARD OR COATING EXTENDS 6 IN. The purpose of this unvented crawl space is shown. while section is to show and describe a variety of Figures 3-10 and 3-11 show insulation placed reasonable alternatives. MIN. or a rigid protection board — extending at least 6 inches below grade. Numbers that occur within boxes in each drawing refer to the notes on pages 53 and 54 that follow the drawings (see Figure 3-7). The challenge is to develop integrated In this section several typical crawl space solutions that address all key considerations wall sections are illustrated and described. MIN. Downspouts and gutters should be used to collect roof drainage and direct it away from the foundation walls. 2. 1. In Figure 3-9 insulation practices or details often represent trade-offs placed outside the foundation wall of an and compromises. recommended above the space. circumstances will dictate final design Included in this group of illustrations are choices. 7-IN. Surface drainage: The ground surface should slope downward at least 5 percent (6 inches) over the first 10 feet surrounding the basement wall to direct surface runoff away from the building. without unnecessarily complicating the Figure 3-8 shows a typical vented crawl space construction or increasing the cost. BELOW GRADE 1 GROUND SLOPES AWAY FROM WALL AT 5% (6" IN 10 FT) 2 8-IN. a cementitious coating.3 Crawl Space Construction Details approaches to insulating the rim joist area. Insulation protection: Exterior insulation materials should not be exposed above grade. fiberglass. Individual inside the wall of an unvented crawl space. Figure 3-7: System of Key Numbers in Construction Drawings that Refer to Notes on Following Pages Page 48 Chapter 3—Crawl Space Construction .3.

The crawl space floor is at the same level as the surrounding grade resulting in no major drainage concerns. C. MAX. ANCHOR BOLTS AT 6 FT. The insulation is placed between the floor joists over the crawl space. O. 12 24-IN. 17 CONCRETE FOUNDATION WALL 13 GROUND SLOPES AWAY FROM WALL AT 5% (6" IN 10 FT) 2 CONTINUOUS VAPOR DIFFUSION RETARDER (GROUND COVER) 18 Figure 3-8 illustrates a vented crawl space with a concrete foundation wall. MIN. CONCRETE FOOTING 8 REINFORCING (OPTIONAL) 19 Figure 3-8: Vented Crawl Space Wall with Ceiling Insulation Builder’s Foundation Handbook Page 49 . CRAWL SPACE VENT AT TOP OF FOUNDATION WALL 21 7-IN.INTERIOR FINISH MATERIAL EXTERIOR SIDING SHEATHING VAPOR RETARDER INSULATION IN 2 x 4 WALL SUBFLOOR RIM JOIST PRESSURE-TREATED SILL PLATE 11 BATT INSULATION BETWEEN FLOOR JOISTS WITH VAPOR RETARDER ON TOP 20 1/2-IN.

EMBEDDED 7 TO 15 IN. A perimeter drainage system is shown. COATING 1 RIGID INSULATION 5 RIM JOIST GROUND SLOPES AWAY FROM WALL AT 5% (6" IN 10 FT) 2 LOW PERMEABILITY SOIL (OPTIONAL) 3 8-IN. INSULATING DRAINAGE BOARD. 17 DRAINAGE MAT. OR GRANULAR BACKFILL (OPTIONAL) 4 FILTER FABRIC ABOVE GRAVEL (OPTIONAL ON SIDES AND BELOW) 6 CONCRETE FOOTING 8 REINFORCING (OPTIONAL) 19 COARSE GRAVEL (OPTIONAL) 4-IN. O. There is no limit to the thickness of insulation that can be used with this approach. MAX. MIN. The crawl space floor is below the level of the surrounding grade.INTERIOR FINISH MATERIAL Figure 3-9 illustrates an unvented crawl space with a concrete masonry foundation wall. CAULKING (OPTIONAL) 9 PRESSURE-TREATED SILL PLATE 11 GASKET UNDER SILL PLATE INSULATION IN 2 x 4 WALL SUBFLOOR 1/2-IN. AS REQUIRED BY CODE 23 FILLED BLOCK CORES OR BOND BEAM 22 CONCRETE MASONRY FOUNDATION WALL 14 VAPOR RETARDER 18 24-IN. C. VAPOR RETARDER EXTERIOR SIDING SHEATHING FLASHING COVERS TOP OF INSULATION PROTECTION BOARD. The exterior insulation is covered by a flashing at the top. PERFORATED DRAIN PIPE WITH HOLES FACING DOWN (OPTIONAL) 7 Figure 3-9: Unvented Crawl Space Wall with Exterior Insulation Page 50 Chapter 3—Crawl Space Construction . ANCHOR BOLTS AT 6 FT.

12 RIGID INSULATION 15 CONCRETE FOUNDATION WALL 13 VAPOR RETARDER 18 RIGID INSULATION MAY EXTEND HORIZONTALLY ON FLOOR (OPTIONAL) 24-IN. MIN. A perimeter drainage system is shown. PERFORATED DRAIN PIPE WITH HOLES FACING DOWN (OPTIONAL) 7 Figure 3-10: Unvented Crawl Space Wall with Interior Insulation Builder’s Foundation Handbook Page 51 . MAX. OR GRANULAR BACKFILL (OPTIONAL) 4 FILTER FABRIC ABOVE GRAVEL (OPTIONAL ON SIDES AND BELOW) 6 CONCRETE FOOTING 8 REINFORCING (OPTIONAL) 19 COARSE GRAVEL 4-IN. Rigid insulation is placed vertically on the interior. C. There is no limit to the thickness of insulation that can be used with this approach. 17 DRAINAGE MAT. 1/2-IN. The crawl space floor is below the level of the surrounding grade. O. INSULATING DRAINAGE BOARD. ANCHOR BOLTS AT 6 FT. 8-IN.INTERIOR FINISH MATERIAL EXTERIOR SIDING SHEATHING VAPOR RETARDER INSULATION IN 2 x 4 WALL SUBFLOOR RIM JOIST (OPTIONAL CAULKING ABOVE AND BELOW RIM JOIST) 9 PRESSURE-TREATED SILL PLATE 11 GROUND SLOPES AWAY FROM WALL AT 5% (6" IN 10 FT) 2 LOW PERMEABILITY SOIL (OPTIONAL) 3 BATT INSULATION RIGID INSULATION CAULKED AT ALL EDGES FORMS VAPOR RETARDER (OPTIONAL) 10 Figure 3-10 illustrates an unvented crawl space with a concrete foundation wall.

MAX. VAPOR RETARDER EXTENDS ABOVE GRADE ON WALL (OPTIONAL) 18 24-IN.INTERIOR FINISH MATERIAL Figure 3-11 illustrates an unvented crawl space with a concrete foundation wall. Batt insulation is placed vertically on the interior wall and extends horizontally onto the perimeter of the floor. EXTERIOR SIDING SHEATHING VAPOR RETARDER INSULATION IN 2 x 4 WALL SUBFLOOR RIM JOIST (OPTIONAL CAULKING ABOVE AND BELOW RIM JOIST) 9 PRESSURE-TREATED SILL PLATE 11 GROUND SLOPES AWAY FROM WALL AT 5% (6" IN 10 FT) 2 LOW PERMEABILITY SOIL (OPTIONAL) 3 BATT INSULATION VAPOR RETARDER SEALED TO SUBFLOOR AND FLOOR JOISTS 16 1/2-IN. The crawl space floor is below the level of the surrounding grade. OR GRANULAR BACKFILL (OPTIONAL) 4 FILTER FABRIC ABOVE GRAVEL (OPTIONAL ON SIDES AND BELOW) 6 VAPOR RETARDER 18 CONCRETE FOOTING 8 REINFORCING (OPTIONAL) 19 COARSE GRAVEL 4-IN. A perimeter drainage system is shown. 17 CONCRETE FOUNDATION WALL 13 FIBERGLASS INSULATION WITH VAPOR RETARDER ON INSIDE 16 DRAINAGE MAT. MIN. C. O. ANCHOR BOLTS AT 6 FT. INSULATING DRAINAGE BOARD. 12 8-IN. PERFORATED DRAIN PIPE WITH HOLES FACING DOWN (OPTIONAL) 7 Figure 3-11: Unvented Crawl Space Wall with Interior Insulation Page 52 Chapter 3—Crawl Space Construction .

The portion above grade could be polyurethane or MEPS. If left exposed the batts should have “low flame spread” facing. Vertical bars should be spaced no more than 48 inches apart or 6 times the wall thickness. 3. Backfill or drainage materials: When the crawl space floor is below exterior grade. or a membrane beneath the top layer of soil. The pipe should be surrounded by at least 6 inches of gravel on the sides and 4 inches of gravel above and below the pipe. Cast-in-place concrete wall: Concrete used in the wall should have a minimum compressive strength of 2500 psi with a 4. and (3) fiberglass or expanded polystyrene drainage boards. (Optional) 10. pipes. (Optional) 4. a gravel drainage system should be installed. no subdrainage system is necessary. Codes and standard practice guides usually call for a minimum of 18 inches between the crawl space floor Builder’s Foundation Handbook Page 53 . fiberglass. Generally. 11. Special care is necessary to maintain continuity of the vapor retarder on the insulation face. Concrete footing: All concrete footings must be designed with adequate size to distribute the load to the soil and be placed beneath the maximum frost penetration depth unless founded upon bedrock or proven non-frost-susceptible soil. 9. sill plate/rim joist. Drainage system: Where porous soils are present and drainage problems are not anticipated. Surface drainage: The ground surface should slope downward at least 5 percent (6 inches) over the first 10 feet surrounding the crawl space wall to direct surface runoff away from the building. Anchor bolts for concrete walls: Anchor bolts should be embedded in the top of concrete foundation walls. Backfill cover: Backfill around the foundation should be covered with a low permeability soil. An optional 4-inch-diameter perforated drainpipe may be installed in the gravel. In place of porous backfill. Concrete used in spread footings should have a minimum compressive strength of 2500 psi. 12. Drainpipes should slope 1 inch in 20 feet and lead to an outfall or sump. rim joist/subfloor.to 6-inch slump. a cementitious coating. (Optional) 8. A vertical clean-out pipe with an above-grade capped end is recommended to flush out the system. porous backfill sand or gravel should be used against the walls to promote drainage. subfloor/above-grade wall plate. where there are stable soils in areas of low seismic activity. Where conditions warrant and the crawl space floor is below that of the exterior grade. 7. Low permeability rigid insulation (such as extruded polystyrene) should be used. Perforated drainpipes should be placed with holes facing downward alongside the footing on either the outside or inside. 6. it must be grouted into block cores. No additional water should be added at the job site. or a rigid protection board — extending at least 6 inches below grade. Interior rigid insulation materials: Acceptable materials for placement inside a crawl space wall include (1) extruded polystyrene boards (XEPS) and (2) expanded polystyrene boards (MEPS). Caulking: Caulking at the following interfaces will minimize air leakage: foundation wall/sill plate. a drainage mat material or insulating drainage board can be placed against the foundation wall. 17. Insulation protection: Exterior insulation materials should not be exposed above grade. 16. Generally. Outside placement is preferred for drainage but inside placement is less susceptible to failure. and ducts to allow a person to access all areas of the crawl space. whichever is less. Surface or roof drainage systems should never be connected to the subsurface drainage system. or a vapor retarder should be placed on the inside of the insulation and sealed to all surrounding surfaces.NOTES FOR ALL DETAILED CRAWL SPACE DRAWINGS (FIGURES 3-8 THROUGH 3-11) 1. An alternative is to cover these points on the exterior with an air barrier material. Crawl space height: There should be adequate space under all beams. Downspouts and gutters should be used to collect roof drainage and direct it away from the foundation walls. to divert surface runoff away from the foundation. Sill plate: The sill plate should be at least 8 inches above grade and should be pressurepreservative treated to resist decay. An ignition barrier may be required for some of these materials for fire protection. galvanized metal or aluminum flashing. where there are stable soils in areas of low seismic activity. Exterior insulation materials: Acceptable materials for exterior insulation are: (1) extruded polystyrene boards (XEPS) under any condition. no reinforcing is required in an 8-inch-thick masonry wall with up to 4 feet of fill. The above-grade portion should be covered by a protective material — such as exterior grade plastic. 15. a filter fabric over the gravel bed and drainpipe is recommended to prevent clogging of the drainage area with fine soil particles. The drainage mat should extend down to a drainpipe at the footing level. Wrapping the filter fabric around the entire gravel bed is an optional technique for better protection against clogging. When reinforcing is required. or insulated to prevent frost penetration. no reinforcing is required in a 6-inchthick basement wall with up to 4 feet of fill. Insulation inside rim joist: Insulation can be placed on the inside of the rim joist but with greater risk of condensation problems and less access to wood joists and sills for inspection from the interior. Backfill should be compacted so that settlement is minimized. 2. Filter fabric: Where a drainage system is used. and especially the perimeter. (2) molded expanded polystyrene boards (MEPS) for vertical applications when porous backfill and adequate drainage are provided. Most codes require bolts of 1/2inch minimum diameter to be embedded at least 7 inches into the wall. 14. 13. anchor bolts can be placed at a maximum spacing of 6 feet and no further than 1 foot from any corner. Masonry wall: Generally. Leaving adequate space also prevents ventilation from being impeded. (Optional) 5. Interior fiberglass batt insulation: Fiberglass batts can be draped over the wall and laid loosely on the ground at the crawl space perimeter.

The total free (open) area of all vents should be no less than 1/1500 of the floor area. Instead. In the absence of a ground cover. Most codes require bolts of 1/2inch minimum diameter embedded at least 7 inches into the wall. A membrane on the wall helps confine water that may leak through the wall to the underside of the membrane on the floor. 18. a 6-mil polyethylene vapor retarder should be placed over the entire crawl space floor. Page 54 Chapter 3—Crawl Space Construction . The gross area of vents required depends on the type of vent. the vapor retarder should be above the insulation. The vents should be as high on the wall as possible but below the floor insulation to best capture breezes. To provide adequate anchorage in a masonry wall. codes require bolts to be embedded 15 inches in masonry walls to resist uplift. a bond beam provides additional lateral strength in a masonry wall. a minimum of 24 inches under the joists is advisable. Generally. Bond beam on masonry wall: When required by code or a structural engineer. Using a bond beam or filling the cores of the upper course of block also are recommended as radon and termite prevention techniques. located no farther than 3 feet from each corner. but this is often inadequate after ducts and plumbing are installed. the vent area should be increased to 1/150 of the floor area. anchor bolts can be placed at a maximum spacing of 6 feet and no further than 1 foot from any corner. Reinforcing in footing: Reinforcing bars placed 2 inches below the top of the footing running parallel to the wall are recommended where differential settlement is a potential problem. An access way into the crawl space must also be provided. bolts either must be embedded in a bond beam or the appropriate cores of the upper course of block must be filled with mortar. (Optional) 23. and landscaping should be planned to prevent obstruction of the vents. No sealing is required for moisture but is suggested for radon mitigation. Ceiling insulation: Insulation is placed in the crawl space ceiling when the space is vented. 19. It is not necessary to carry the ground cover membrane up the face of the wall unless the interior grade is below that outside.and the underside of the joists. Vent requirements: A rectangular crawl space requires a minimum of four vents. 22. Anchor bolts for masonry walls: Anchor bolts should be embedded in the top of masonry foundation walls. (Optional) 20. With fiberglass insulation placed between the wood joists. one on each wall. All debris must be removed and the soil leveled before laying the membrane. Edges of the membrane should be lapped 12 inches. 21. In some locations. Vapor retarder (ground cover): In regions with 20 inches or more annual precipitation or if radon mitigation is necessary. Ventilation alone should not be relied upon where soils are known to be moist. or radon is of particular concern.

. A crawl space floor above exterior grade is preferred for positive drainage. foundation drain outfalls. insulation. sewers. etc. Leave unfinished items unchecked. All areas of the crawl space must be accessible for inspection of pipes. The checklist could be used many ways. to be protected from damage ____ Confirm elevation of water table ____ Determine type and dimensions of drainage systems ____ Discharge roof drainage away from foundation ____ Remove stumps and grubbing debris from site ____ Provide frost heave protection for winter construction ____ Call for test hole (full depth hole in proposed foundation location) ____ Locate stakes and benchmarks ____ Strip and stock pile topsoil ____ Define spoil site Builder’s Foundation Handbook Page 55 . use one set of blanks during design and the second set during construction inspection. “rough grade” level before topsoil is respread. Under adverse conditions. roots. pipes. ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ Provide access into crawl space ____ Provide clearance under floor structure and ducts to provide access to entire perimeter ____ Call for trenches under girders and ducts to allow passage ____ Use 2-inch slurry slab (vermin control and ground cover protection) ____ Locate footing frost depth with respect to interior for well-vented recessed crawl spaces ____ Consider optional floor drain SITEWORK ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ Locate building at the highest point if the site is wet ____ Define “finish subgrade” (grading contractor). sill plates. driveways. rim joists. curbs. changes in boundaries ____ Establish grading tolerances ____ Provide intercepting drains upgrade of foundation if needed ____ Locate dry wells and recharge pits below foundation level ____ Establish precautions for stabilizing excavation ____ Establish limits of excavation and determine trees. catch basins. OVERALL General considerations. helps review the completeness of construction drawings and specifications. Use different symbols to distinguish items that have been satisfied (+) from those that have been checked but do not apply (x). Note that not all measures are necessary under all conditions. drainage swales. posts. and provides general guidance on project management. “finish grade” (landscape contractor) ____ Establish elevations of finish grades. bulkheads. etc. ducts. crawl spaces should be designed with the same drainage measures as basements.4 Checklist for Design and Construction of Crawl Space Foundations This checklist serves as a chapter summary. property corners. buried cables. “base grade” (construction contractor).3. For example.

Confirm wall engineering and accessories: ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ Wall sized to resist height of fill and seismic loads Anchor bolt requirements for sill plate (minimum code) Anchors for joist ends (typically 6-foot spacing) Beam pocket elevations. Make sure footing is deeper under basement walkouts ____ Confirm adequacy of footing sizes ____ Do not fill the overexcavated footing trench ____ Install longitudinal reinforcing (two No. dimensions. dry conditions) Two-way reinforcing No. other elements attached to structure). slabs supporting roofs. details Top of wall elevations and changes in wall height Brick shelf widths and elevations Determine concrete specifications: ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ Minimum compressive strength after 28 days Maximum water/cement ratio.CRAWL SPACE CHECKLIST (PAGE 2 OF 4) FOOTINGS ____ ____ Position bottom of footing at least 6 inches below frost depth around perimeter (frost wall at garage. 4 or No. cold. 5 bars at top and bottom of wall to resist settlement cracking (for termite resistance) Determine concrete masonry wall specifications: ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ Specify mortar mixes and strengths ____ Special details for proprietary masonry systems ____ Use either bond beam or joint reinforcing for crack control (for termite resistance) ____ Use special measures for high termite hazard areas Page 56 Chapter 3—Crawl Space Construction . Note: add no water at site Allowable slump Acceptable and unacceptable admixtures Curing requirements (special hot. 5 bars 2 inches from top) ____ Reinforce footing at spans over utility trenches ____ Do not bear footings partially on rock (sand fill) ____ Do not pour footings on frozen ground ____ Indicate minimum concrete compressive strength after 28 days ____ Call out elevations of top of footings and dimension elevation changes in plan ____ Use keyway or steel dowels to anchor walls ____ Dimension stepped footings according to local codes and good practice (conform to masonry dimensions if applicable) ____ Provide weep holes (minimum 2-inch diameter at 4 feet to 8 feet on center) ____ Provide through-joint flashing as a capillary break ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ STRUCTURAL DESIGN General considerations. Walls with high unbalanced fill should be designed as a basement.

Strategy: (1) Isolate wood members from soil by an air space or impermeable barrier. walls. other finish wood members at least 6 inches above grade (rain splash protection) Separate raised porches and decks from the building by 2-inch horizontal clearance for drainage and termite inspection (or provide proper flashing) Pitch porches. but is no substitute for proper detailing. Ceiling insulation requires insulating ducts and plumbing. etc. sill plates. specify exterior insulation product suitable for in-ground use ____ Cover exterior insulation above grade with a protective coating DECAY AND TERMITE CONTROL General considerations.. and enclosed crawl spaces are insulated either inside or outside the wall. Exterior insulation may reduce condensation hazard at rim joists. Vented crawl spaces are insulated in the ceiling. wood members in contact with foundation piers.CRAWL SPACE CHECKLIST (PAGE 3 OF 4) THERMAL AND VAPOR CONTROLS General considerations. especially with insulated foundations Builder’s Foundation Handbook Page 57 . rim joists. Pressure-treated lumber is less susceptible to attack. Pressure-treat all outdoor weather-exposed wood members Install dampproof membrane under sill plate and beams in pockets (flashing or sill seal gasket) Leave minimum 1/2-inch air space around beams in beam pockets Expose sill plates and rim joists for inspection Elevate sill plate minimum 8 inches above exterior grade Elevate wood posts and framing supporting porches. (2) expose critical areas for inspection. ____ ____ ____ ____ Confirm that wall or ceiling insulation R-value meets local codes and/or recommendations provided by this handbook ____ If used. stairs. patios for drainage (minimum 1/4 in/ft) Treat soil with termiticide. above grade (6-inch minimum) on concrete piers Elevate wood siding. floors. Termite shields are not reliable barriers unless installed correctly. decks. etc. decks. Wall insulations require special moisture control measures and may conceal termite infestations. door sills. ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ Locate and specify foundation vents Install ground cover vapor retarder Elevate interior wood posts on concrete pedestals Locate floor (area) and footing drains if crawl space floor is below exterior grade (see Subdrainage under basement checklist in chapter 2) Pressure-treat wood posts.

state the start/completion dates. CONTRACTS. vent stacks. Strategies: (1) barriers. price. describe the work by referencing the blueprints and specs. and procedure for firing) ____ Building permits ____ SITE INSPECTIONS DURING CONSTRUCTION ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ After excavation and before concrete is poured for the footings After the footings have been poured before foundation wall construction After foundation construction and dampproofing before rough framing After rough framing After rough plumbing After rough electrical After insulation installation before drywall and backfilling in case of exterior insulation ____ Final Page 58 Chapter 3—Crawl Space Construction . Since radon is a gas. handling of change orders. excavation allowance. Check state and local health agencies for need of protection. attic stairs Install polyethylene vapor retarder as floor underlayment between first floor and crawl space PLANS. (2) air management. ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ Separate outdoor intakes for combustion devices Install air barrier wrap around superstructure Seal around flues. chases. handling of disputes.CRAWL SPACE CHECKLIST (PAGE 4 OF 4) RADON CONTROL MEASURES General considerations. (3) provisions to simplify retrofit. AND BUILDING PERMITS ____ ____ ____ ____ Complete plans and specs ____ Bid package ____ Contractual arrangements (describe principals. its rate of entry through the foundation depends on suction due to stack effect and superstructure air leakage. The potential for radon hazard is present in all buildings. payment schedule.

Section 4. climates (Labs et al. climates.1 shows typical recommended levels of insulation for each of five representative U. Section 4. location of insulation. The construction system in all cases is a concrete (or masonry) Builder’s Foundation Handbook Page 59 . Section 4. Section 4.3 includes a series of alternative construction details with accompanying notes indicating specific practices.4 is a checklist to be used during the design and construction of a slab-on-grade foundation.2 summarizes design and construction practices covering the following areas: structural aspects. heating and cooling loads were simulated for different insulation placements and thicknesses in a variety of U. 4. Key assumptions are that the interior space above the slab is heated to a temperature of 70OF and cooled to a temperature of 78OF when required.1 Slab-on-Grade Insulation Placement and Thickness To provide energy use information for buildings with slab-on-grade foundations.S. termite and wood decay control. 1988). and radon control. Figure 4-1: Slab-on-Grade Foundation with Exterior Insulation Insulation Configurations and Costs Table 4-1 includes illustrations and descriptions of a variety of slab-on-grade insulation configurations.CHAPTER 4 Slab-on-Grade Construction This chapter summarizes the major recommendations and practices related to slab-on-grade foundation design. drainage.S.

3. L. and high fuel cost levels indicated in Table 4-2. These recommendations are based on assumptions that are summarized at the end of section 4. Page 60 Chapter 4—Slab-on-Grade Construction . and M refer to the low. medium. The darkened circle represents the recommended level of insulation in each column for each of the four basic insulation configurations. H. 2.1 and further explained in chapter 5.Table 4-1: Insulation Recommendations for Slab-on-Grade Foundations A: Concrete or Masonry Foundation Wall with Exterior Insulation Placed Vertically RECOMMENDED CONFIGURATIONS AT THREE FUEL PRICE LEVELS CONFIGURATION DESCRIPTION 0-2000 HDD (LOS ANG) L EXTERIOR VERTICAL NO INSULATION 2 FT DEEP: R-5 2 FT DEEP: R-10 4 FT DEEP: R-5 4 FT DEEP: R-10 4 FT DEEP: R-15 4 FT DEEP: R-20 M H 2-4000 HDD (FT WORTH) L M H 4-6000 HDD (KAN CITY) L M H 6-8000 HDD (CHICAGO) L M H 8-10000 HDD (MPLS) L M H B: Concrete or Masonry Foundation Walls with Interior Insulation Placed Vertically INTERIOR VERTICAL NO INSULATION 2 FT DEEP: R-5 2 FT DEEP: R-10 4 FT DEEP: R-5 4 FT DEEP: R-10 4 FT DEEP: R-15 4 FT DEEP: R-20 C: Concrete or Masonry Foundation Walls with Interior Insulation Placed Horizontally Under Slab Perimeter INTERIOR HORIZONTAL NO INSULATION 2 FT WIDE: R-5 2 FT WIDE: R-10 4 FT WIDE: R-5 4 FT WIDE: R-10 D: Concrete or Masonry Foundation Walls with Exterior Insulation Extending Outward Horizontally EXTERIOR HORIZONTAL NO INSULATION 2 FT WIDE: R-5 2 FT WIDE: R-10 4 FT WIDE: R-5 4 FT WIDE: R-10 1.

344 / GALLON MEDIUM PRICE LEVEL ($) .S. cities at three different fuel cost levels. a full 2 feet of vertical insulation is not an option. and (3) placing insulation horizontally under the slab perimeter (extending 2 or 4 feet). and there is a different optimal amount of interior insulation placed vertically. and never exceeds 18 years for any of the recommended levels. The three most common approaches to insulating slab-on-grade foundations with concrete/masonry walls are (1) placing insulation vertically on the entire exterior surface of the foundation wall (2 or 4 feet deep).374 / THERM . Economically optimal configurations are shown by the darkened circles in Table 4-1 in the following categories: (1) exterior insulation placed vertically on the foundation wall.187 / GALLON .516 / GALLON HIGH PRICE LEVEL ($) . and (4) exterior insulation extending outward horizontally from the foundation wall.842 / THERM 1.791 / GALLON . (2) interior insulation placed vertically on the foundation wall. In order to identify the most economical amount of insulation for the crawl space configurations shown in Table 4-1. In some regions it is common practice to have a shallower footing than 2 feet or have no foundation wall at all—just a thickened slab edge. the cost of installation must be compared to these savings. In other words. (2) placing insulation vertically on the entire interior surface of the foundation wall (2 or 4 feet deep). it is important to place insulation in the joint between the slab edge and foundation wall. Configurations are recommended for a range of climates and fuel prices in each of these categories. however.114 / KWH foundation wall extending either 2 or 4 feet deep with the upper 8 inches of the foundation wall exposed on the exterior. there is an optimal amount of exterior vertical insulation recommended for a given climate and fuel price. HVAC efficiencies. In addition to these conventional approaches. and fuel escalation rates. even when R-15 insulation is recommended for the foundation wall. a life cycle cost analysis (presented in worksheet form in chapter 5) is Builder’s Foundation Handbook recommended since it takes into account a number of economic variables including installation costs. 1988) to find recommendations for a greater number of cities and for a detailed explanation of the methodology. climate zones. the case with the lowest 30-year life cycle cost was determined for five U.775 / GALLON COOLING ELECTRICITY . only R-5 insulation in the joint proves to be costeffective.527 / GALLON . Such a comparison can be done in several ways. Exterior vertical insulation ranging from R-5 to R-10 is justified in all climate zones Page 61 . It is not necessary to place more than R-5 insulation in this joint. The economic methodology used to determine the insulation levels in Table 3-1 is consistent with ASHRAE standard 90. When insulation is placed either vertically or horizontally on the interior. however. additional horizontal insulation placement on the exterior is possible.051 / KWH . Where there is no darkened circle in a particular category. mortgage rates.2P. The simple payback averages 13 years for all U.Table 4-2: Fuel Price Levels Used to Develop Recommended Insulation Levels in Table 4-1 SEASON FUEL TYPE NATURAL GAS HEATING FUEL OIL PROPANE LOW PRICE LEVEL ($) . See the Building Foundation Design Handbook (Labs et al. (3) interior insulation placed horizontally beneath the slab perimeter. but the different categories of cases are not directly compared with each other. In these cases. Recommended Insulation Levels While increasing the amount of foundation insulation produces greater energy savings.S. some cases were simulated where insulation is placed horizontally on the building exterior (extending either 2 or 4 feet into the surrounding soil).561 / THERM . insulation is not economically justified under the assumptions used.076 / KWH . For example.

A simulation with no insulation in the gap indicates that energy savings are reduced by approximately 40 percent. actual insulation costs. costs are higher due to the protective cover as well as the additional amount of material. As the climate becomes colder and fuel prices increase. and aesthetic considerations discussed elsewhere in this book. thermal results are very similar for equivalent amounts of insulation. Energy price inflation and mortgage conditions are selected to allow maximum simple payback of 18 years with average paybacks of about 13 years. Exterior horizontal insulation actually saves more energy for an equivalent amount of insulation compared with the other alternatives. Installation costs used in this analysis are based on average U. it is assumed that R-5 insulation is placed in the gap between the slab edge and the foundation wall. In addition. compared with a similar configuration with the R-5 slab edge insulation in place. interior placement is always economically optimal in comparison. a 2-foot-wide section of R-5 insulation is recommended at all fuel price levels and in all climate zones except the warmest one.except the warmest one. this is only one of many cost and performance issues to be Page 62 Chapter 4—Slab-on-Grade Construction . costs in 1987. project-specific optimal insulation levels can be determined using actual estimated construction costs with the worksheet provided in chapter 5.S. considered. The total installed costs for all insulation systems considered in this analysis are shown in Table 5-2 in chapter 5. mortgage conditions. Fuel price assumptions used in this analysis are shown in Table 4-2. performance. If the general assumptions used in this analysis are satisfactory for the specific project. For exterior insulation extending outward horizontally. The total heating system efficiency is 68 percent and the cooling system SEER is 9. however. Since it is assumed that exterior insulation costs more to install. Costs include labor and materials for extruded polystyrene insulation and the required protective covering and flashing above grade (for the exterior cases). In spite of the apparent cost-effectiveness of interior vertical insulation compared with the other approaches. The economic benefit of interior vertical insulation may be offset by other practical. HVAC efficiencies. the user can incorporate local energy prices. The worksheet enables the user to select economic criteria other than allowing maximum simple paybacks of 18 years. However. it is the least costeffective approach. If not. depending on the construction details and cost assumptions. exterior horizontal insulation is not directly comparable to the other cases since it actually requires an extra foot of vertical insulation before it extends horizontally. All costs include a 30 percent builder markup and a 30 percent subcontractor markup for overhead and profit. In fact. the recommended R-value and depth of insulation increase as well.2 with 10 percent duct losses. however. the reader can determine the approximate recommended insulation level for a location by finding the heating degree days from Table 5-1 in chapter 5 and selecting the appropriate climate zone and fuel price level shown in Table 4-1. interior vertical insulation is slightly more costeffective than placement beneath the slab perimeter because the installation cost of the horizontal approach is slightly higher (although not as high as exterior vertical insulation). and fuel escalation rates. Interior insulation placed horizontally beneath the slab perimeter performs almost identically to interior vertical insulation in terms of energy savings. Assumptions These general recommendations are based on a set of underlying assumptions. This increased cost for an exterior insulation is attributed to the need for protective covering. Costeffectiveness can vary considerably. Similar levels of interior insulation are recommended for both vertical and horizontal placement. Comparison of Insulation Approaches When exterior and interior vertical insulation are compared. It should be noted that for all cases with interior vertical or horizontal insulation. Thus.

In some cases additional footings (often a thickened slab) are necessary under bearing walls or columns in the center of the slab. Foundation walls must be designed to resist vertical loads from the structure above and transfer these loads to the footing. special foundation construction techniques may be necessary.4. Similarly. Concrete slab-ongrade floors are generally designed to have sufficient strength to support floor loads without reinforcing when poured on undisturbed or compacted soil. which is an important concern for appearance and for reducing potential radon infiltration. Where expansive soils are present or in areas of high seismic activity. Concrete spread footings must provide support beneath foundation walls and columns. grade beams at the edge of the foundation support the superstructure above. Because a slab-on-grade floor is above the surrounding exterior grade. Footings must be designed with adequate bearing area to distribute the load to the soil and be placed beneath the maximum frost penetration depth or be insulated to prevent frost penetration. consultation with local building officials and a structural engineer is recommended. The proper use of welded wire fabric and concrete with a low water/cement ratio can reduce shrinkage cracking.2 Recommended Design and Construction Details STRUCTURAL DESIGN The major structural components of a slab-on-grade foundation are the floor slab itself and either grade beams or foundation walls with footings at the perimeter of the slab (see Figures 4-2 and 4-3). The goal of surface drainage is to keep water away from the foundation by sloping the ground surface and using gutters and downspouts for roof drainage. In these cases. Foundation walls are typically constructed of cast-in-place concrete or concrete masonry units. ANCHOR BOLT CONNECTS FOUNDATION WALL TO SUPERSTRUCTURE AND RESISTS WIND UPLIFT SLAB SUPPORTS FLOOR LOAD GRADE BEAM DISTRIBUTES VERTICAL LOAD FROM ABOVE-GRADE STRUCTURE TO GROUND Figure 4-2: Structural Components of Slab-on-Grade Foundation with Grade Beam SLAB SUPPORTS FLOOR LOAD ANCHOR BOLT CONNECTS FOUNDATION WALL TO SUPERSTRUCTURE AND RESISTS WIND UPLIFT WALL RESISTS VERTICAL LOAD FROM ABOVE-GRADE STRUCTURE SPREAD FOOTING DISTRIBUTES VERTICAL LOAD TO GROUND FOOTING MUST BE BELOW MAXIMUM FROST PENETRATION DEPTH DRAINAGE AND WATERPROOFING Good surface drainage techniques are always recommended for slab-on-grade foundations (see Figure 4-4). no Builder’s Foundation Handbook Figure 4-3: Structural Components of Slab-on-Grade Foundation with Stem Wall and Footing Page 63 .

are that rigid insulation should be covered above grade with a protective board. Heat losses to the soil are greatest at the edge. so it requires special care in detailing and installation. a significant amount of heat transfer occurs through the thermal bridge at the slab edge. Since this approach can control frost penetration near the footing. through which it migrates to the exterior ground surface and the air. Usually the outer 2 to 4 feet of the slab perimeter is insulated but the entire floor may be insulated if desired. and diminish rapidly with distance from it. it can be used to reduce footing depth requirements under certain circumstances. Heat is also lost from the slab to the soil. In both cases. soil dampness. Otherwise.USE GUTTERS AND DOWNSPOUTS GRAVEL DRAINAGE LAYER RECOMMENDED BENEATH SLAB IF A HIGH WATER TABLE IS PRESENT NO SUBSURFACE DRAINAGE REQUIRED Figure 4-4: Drainage Techniques for Slab-on-Grade Foundations layer above the surrounding ground. A major advantage of exterior insulation is that the interior joint between the slab and foundation wall need not be insulated. It is essential to insulate the joint between the slab and the foundation wall whenever insulation is placed inside the foundation wall or under the slab. LOCATION OF INSULATION Good construction practice demands elevating the slab above grade by no less than 8 inches to isolate the wood framing from rain splash. Insulation can be placed vertically outside the foundation wall or grade beam. Vertical exterior insulation is the only method of reducing heat loss at the edge of an integral grade beam and slab foundation. Both components of the slab heat loss — at the edge and through the soil — must be considered in designing the insulation system. and with brick facings. or flashing material. Several drawbacks. which simplifies construction. coating. however. This can substantially reduce the initial foundation construction cost. and termites. The most intense heat losses are through this small area of foundation wall above grade.SLOPE GROUND AWAY . Additional exterior insulation can be provided by extending insulation horizontally from the foundation wall. and to keep the subslab drainage SURFACE DRAINAGE TECHNIQUES: . heat loss from the floor is reduced and the difficulty of placing and protecting exterior insulation is avoided. a thermal short can be created that bypasses both the foundation and abovegrade insulation. This approach effectively insulates the exposed slab edge above grade and extends down to reduce heat flow from the floor slab to the ground surface outside the building. Chapter 4—Slab-on-Grade Construction Page 64 . Insulation also can be placed vertically on the interior of the foundation wall or horizontally under the slab. the floor should be raised above existing grade as much as possible and a layer of gravel can be placed beneath the slab to ensure that drainage occurs and moisture problems are avoided.subsurface drainage system or waterproofing is required. A limitation is that the depth of the exterior insulation is controlled by the footing depth. On sites with a high water table. Interior vertical insulation is limited to the depth of the footing but underslab insulation is not limited in this respect.

stumps. The detail in Figure 4-14 uses a 6-inch-thick block on the top course that permits insulation in the joint and vertical movement of the slab. 2. The slab rests on a ledge and becomes thinner near the insulated edge. TRUNKS. Remove all roots. Figures 4-14 and 4-15 illustrate two solutions. Alternatively. Concrete masonry foundation walls are more difficult to resolve successfully. PRESSURE-PRESERVATIVE TREATED SILL PLATE 8-IN. 4. 5. A wood floor deck can be placed on sleepers. OR FILLED UPPER COURSE OF MASONRY WALL Figure 4-5: Termite Control Techniques for Slab-on-Grade Foundations TERMITE AND WOOD DECAY CONTROL TECHNIQUES Techniques for controlling the entry of termites through residential foundations are necessary in much of the United States (see Figure 4-5). CAP BLOCK. ABOVE GRADE REMOVE ROOTS. 1. downspouts. Consult with local building officials and codes for further details. MIN. regardless of whether or not the joint is insulated or an expansion joint is provided. but may lead to greater frost depth in the vicinity of the slab edge. Another option for insulating a slab-ongrade foundation is to place insulation above the floor slab. Wood stakes and form work should also be removed from the foundation area. ABOVE GRADE WOOD SIDING 6-IN. MIN. This last alternative effectively provides insulation in the joint but diverges from ideal structural practice. The mortar joint beneath the top course or bond beam should be reinforced for additional insurance. Minimize soil moisture around the foundation by surface drainage and by using gutters. This approach avoids some of the construction detail problems inherent in the more conventional approaches discussed above. A solution to designing this floor/wall joint is shown in Figure 4-10 for a cast-inplace concrete foundation wall. Place a bond beam or course of solid cap blocks on top of all concrete masonry foundation walls to ensure that no open cores are left exposed. and runouts to remove roof water. Both the American Concrete Institute (1985) and the Building Research Advisory Board (1968) recommend against pouring the slab on a shelf formed in the foundation wall. leaving cavities that can be filled with rigid board or batt insulation. AND SCRAP WOOD FROM FOUNDATION AREA FILL JOINT WITH CAULKING TREAT SOIL FOR TERMITES MINIMIZE SOIL MOISTURE USING SURFACE DRAINAGE TECHNIQUES . and wood from the site. The notched wall section permits 1 inch of rigid insulation to be placed in the joint and also permits the slab to move vertically.USE GUTTERS AND DOWNSPOUTS . Place the sill plate at least 8 inches Builder’s Foundation Handbook Page 65 . In Figure 4-15 a similar detail with a 2-by-4 above-grade wall on a 4-inch-thick block on the top course is shown.SLOPE GROUND AWAY BOND BEAM. 3. This detail can be used for vertical interior or subslab insulation. or a wood floor deck can be placed directly on rigid insulation above the slab. This detail is designed for a 2-by-6 above-grade wall. fill all cores on the top course with mortar. 1988).The insulation is generally limited to no more than 1 inch in thickness at this point. Treat soil with termiticide on all sites vulnerable to termites (Labs et al.

seal the joint by pouring polyurethane or similar caulk into the 1/2-inch channel formed with a removable strip. The edges should be lapped at least 12 inches. Be sure that exterior wood siding and trim are at least 6 inches above grade. 8. they are considered optional and should not be regarded as sufficient defense by themselves. contact the state health department or environmental protection office. CAP BLOCK. before the concrete is poured. Construct porches and exterior slabs so that they slope away from the foundation wall. SEAL AROUND ALL DUCTS AND PIPES IN SLAB USE SOLID DRAINPIPES IN FLOOR WITH MECHANICAL TRAPS BOND BEAM. Fill the joint between a slab-on-grade floor and foundation wall with liquid-poured urethane caulk or coal tar pitch to form a termite and radon barrier. Use solid pipes for floor discharge drains to daylight or provide mechanical traps if they discharge to subsurface drains. Provide an isolation joint between the foundation wall and slab floor where vertical movement is expected. Slit an “x” in the polyethylene membrane at penetrations. 7. This film serves both as a radon and moisture retarder. consider using riverbed gravel if available at a reasonable price. Polyurethane caulks adhere well to masonry and are long-lived. OR FILLED UPPER COURSE OF MASONRY WALL FILL JOINT WITH CAULKING REINFORCE SLAB AND USE CONCRETE WITH LOW WATER/ CEMENT RATIO TO REDUCE CRACKING 6-MIL POLY LAYER UNDER SLAB EXTENDED OVER TOP OF FOUNDATION WALL Figure 4-6: Radon Control Techniques for Slab-on-Grade Foundations Page 66 Chapter 4—Slab-on-Grade Construction . A 2-inch-thick sand layer on top of the polyethylene improves concrete curing and prevents the concrete from infiltrating the aggregate base under the slab. 1. The sand should be dampened. Care should be taken to avoid unintentionally puncturing the barrier. Use concrete with a low water/cement ratio to minimize cracking. 6. To determine this. The polyethylene should extend over the top of the foundation wall. it should be pressurepreservative treated to resist decay. After the slab has cured for several days. Do not use latex caulks. They do not stick to polyethylene. RADON CONTROL TECHNIQUES The following techniques for minimizing radon infiltration through a slab-on-grade foundation are appropriate where there is a reasonable probability that radon may be present (see Figure 4-6). The round riverbed gravel allows for freer movement of the soil gas and has no sharp edges to penetrate the polyethylene. usually are at least 2 inches below exterior siding. Since termite shields are often damaged or not installed carefully enough.above grade. Turn up the tabs and tape them. but not saturated. 3. 2. The sand will also offer some puncture protection for the polyethylene during the concrete pouring operation. or extend to the outer bottom edge of a monolithic slab-grade beam or patio. and are separated from all wood members by a 2-inch gap visible for inspection or a continuous metal flashing soldered at all seams. Lay a 6-mil polyethylene film on top of the gravel drainage layer beneath the slab. are reinforced with steel or wire mesh.

if radon levels are excessive. causing the soil gas to be routed into a collection system. This system 5. The standpipe Intercepting Soil Gas can also be added by drilling a 4-inch hole through the finished slab. necessary. Begin curing the concrete than 4 inches of gravel beneath the slab floor. installed during construction. the standpipe can be uncapped and connected to a vent pipe. An alternative horizontally through below-grade walls to approach is to leave the masonry cores open the area beneath adjoining slabs. A 3. however. avoiding the inside spaces and discharging to the outdoors. provisions for a discharge system are building is finished. which could be installed required at 70OF. Condensate drains that connect to underside of the slab. pipe initially without the fan provides a This acts as an insurance policy at modest passive depressurization system which may cost. The underslab gravel drainage layer can be 7. Two pieces of No. It should be at least 4 around all plumbing and utility lead-ins inches thick. interior walls. extending beyond the foundation wall will 8. according to can be installed at little or no additional cost recommendations of the American Concrete in new construction. Install welded wire in the slab to reduce the impact of shrinkage cracking. temperatures. A single and fill solid at the time the floor slab is cast standpipe is adequate for typical house-size by flowing concrete into the top course of floors with a clean. or cap block on top of all masonry foundation section of pipe should be inserted vertically into the subslab aggregate and capped at the walls to seal cores.is needed. Place HVAC condensate drains so that help assure good air communication between they run to daylight outside the building the foundation perimeter soil and the envelope. The standpipe At this time the best strategy for should be positioned for easy routing to the mitigating radon hazard seems to be to roof through plumbing chases. The gravel should be dry wells or other soil may become direct covered with a 6-mil polyethylene radon and conduits for soil gas. and can be a major moisture retarder. Consider control joints or additional reinforcing near the inside corner of “L” shaped slabs. and longer at lower later if necessary. and of clean aggregate no less through the slab to a depth of at least 1/2 than 1/2 inch in diameter. the system can be activated by installing an in-line duct fan (see Figure 4-7). If block. 3 feet long and on 12-inch centers. bond beam. which in turn could be entry point for radon. 4 reinforcing bar. even in homes with extremely high concentrations (Dudney 1988). Subslab depressurization has proven to be an effective technique for reducing radon concentrations to acceptable levels. Connecting the vent an integral part of the initial construction. Minimize the number of pours to system. Place a solid brick course. Once the house is built. covered with a 2-inch sand bed. The collection 6. reduce stack effects by building a tight or closets. or fill open block cores in top. which should be with polyurethane or similar caulk. Weep holes inch. Builder’s Foundation Handbook Page 67 . Use of fibers within concrete will also reduce the amount of plastic shrinkage cracking. at the very install or complete the vent stack after the least. Use an impervious cover sheet A foundation with good subsurface or wetted burlap. The second phase is the Institute (1980. immediately after the pour. across areas where additional stress is anticipated. 1983). which may consist of nothing more avoid cold joints. a passive discharge system can be adequate in some cases and could be designed for easy modification to an active be connected and if further mitigation effort 4. Stack pipes could also be installed the top course with concrete. At least three days are discharge system. drainage already has a collection system. should reduce cracking.or 4-inch diameter PVC 12-inch 9. Fill with polyurethane or similar provided through the footing or gravel bed caulking. that it is normally foundation in combination with a generally tight above-grade structure. This technique lowers the pressure around the foundation envelope. Form a gap of at least 1/2-inch width used to collect soil gas. coarse gravel layer. and to make sure less costly to complete the vent stack routing through the roof during construction than to a radon collection system and. Note. The first phase is the collection system located on the a 1/2-inch depression. Control joints should be finished with could be installed in two phases. Fill this recess fully soil side of the foundation.

ROOF VENT FOR SOIL GAS DISCHARGE DISCHARGE FAN LOCATED IN ATTIC RISER PIPE FROM AREA UNDER SLAB STANDPIPES CAN BE CAPPED FOR FUTURE USE SUCTION TAP CAST IN SLAB CONCRETE SLAB OVER POLY VAPOR BARRIER GRAVEL DRAINAGE LAYER Figure 4-7: Soil Gas Collection and Discharge Techniques Page 68 Chapter 4—Slab-on-Grade Construction .

A suction of 5 Pascals is considered satisfactory. If the radon barrier techniques are not fully utilized along with the subslab depressurization. This is often achieved with a 0.2 inch of water suction under installation conditions is adequate for serving subslab collection systems for most houses (Labs 1988). and measuring the suction through the hole. Under field conditions of 0. radon levels tested and. The stack should be routed up through the building and extend 2 to 4 feet above the roof. slab penetrations. This system is susceptible to owner interference.03 hp (25W). A fan capable of maintaining 0. to a point at or above the eave line. Active systems use quiet. but when used. considerable indoor air could be discharged. Ideally. A subslab depressurization system requires the floor slab to be nearly airtight so that collection efforts are not short-circuited by drawing excessive room air down through the slab and into the system. a passive depressurization system should be installed. Active subslab depressurization does raise some long-term concerns which at this time are not fully understood. The exhaust should be located away from doors and windows to avoid reentry of the soil gas into the above-grade space. if necessary. The fan should be oriented to prevent accumulation of condensed water in the fan housing. Builder’s Foundation Handbook Page 69 . particularly motor-driven components. 160 cfm centrifugal fan (maximum capacity) capable of drawing up to 1 inch of water before stalling.system if necessary. and control joints must be sealed. Floor drains that discharge to the gravel beneath the slab should be avoided. resulting in a larger than expected energy penalty. such a fan operates at about 80 cfm. System durability is of concern. the system activated by adding a fan. The fan should be located in an accessible section of the stack so that any leaks from the positive pressure side of the fan are not in the living space.2 inch of water. Cracks. It is possible to test the suction of the subslab system by drilling a small (1/4-inch) hole in an area of the slab remote from the collector pipe or suction point. should be fitted with a mechanical trap capable of providing an airtight seal. in-line duct fans to draw gas from the soil. The hole must be sealed after the test. It can also be carried out through the band joist and up along the outside of wall. It is desirable to avoid dependence on a continuously operating fan.

4.3 Slab-on-Grade Construction Details
In this section, typical slab-on-grade foundation details are illustrated and described. Figure 4-9 shows exterior insulation applied to a grade beam foundation. A grade beam supporting a brick veneer facade is shown in Figure 4-10 with exterior insulation. Insulation applied to the exterior of concrete and concrete masonry foundation walls is shown in Figures 4-11 and 4-12. Figure 4-13 illustrates insulation placed beneath the slab perimeter. The inside insulation case is illustrated for masonry foundation walls in Figures 4-14

and 4-15. A foundation wall supporting a brick veneer facade is shown in Figure 4-16 with interior insulation. Numbers that occur within boxes in each drawing refer to the notes on page 75 that follow the drawings (see Figure 4-8). The challenge at this stage of design is to develop integrated solutions that address all key considerations without significantly complicating the construction or increasing the cost. There is no one set of perfect solutions; recommended practices or details often represent compromises and trade-offs. No particular approach is considered superior in all cases. This section shows and describes a variety of reasonable alternatives. Individual circumstances will dictate final design choices.

ISOLATION JOINT 11 4-IN. CONCRETE SLAB WITH OPTIONAL W.W. MESH 12

EXAMPLE OF NOTES CORRESPONDING TO CONSTRUCTION DRAWING: 11. Isolation joint: An isolation joint should be provided at the slab edge to permit independent movement without cracking. Where radon is a concern, a liquid sealant should be poured into the joint over a foam backing rod. 12. Concrete slab: A minimum slab thickness of 4 inches is recommended using concrete with a minimum compressive strength of 2500 psi. Welded wire fabric placed 2 inches below the slab surface is recommended to control shrinkage cracks. Generally, concrete slabs should not rest on footings or ledges of foundation walls if possible to avoid cracking due to settlement. If a slab is poured over an impermeable vapor retarder or insulation board, a concrete mixture with a low water/cement ratio is recommended. An alternative technique is to pour the slab on a layer of sand or drainage board above the vapor retarder to minimize cracking.

Figure 4-8: System of Key Numbers in Construction Drawings that Refer to Notes on Following Pages

Page 70

Chapter 4—Slab-on-Grade Construction

EXTERIOR SIDING RIGID INSULATION USED AS SHEATHING EXTENDS DOWN TO COVER GRADE BEAM 6 PRESSURE-TREATED SILL PLATE (GASKET UNDER SILL PLATE) 1 TERMITE SHIELD PROTECTION BOARD OR COATING 2 GROUND SLOPES AWAY FROM WALL AT 5% 3 8-IN. MIN.

INTERIOR FINISH MATERIAL VAPOR RETARDER INSULATON IN 2 x 4 WALL 4-IN. CONCRETE SLAB WITH OPTIONAL W.W. MESH 12 VAPOR RETARDER 13

4-IN. GRAVEL LAYER (OPTIONAL) 14 RIGID INSULATION MAY EXTEND HORIZONTALLY INTO THE SOIL, SLOPING AWAY FROM SLAB EDGE REINFORCING (OPTIONAL) 9 CONCRETE GRADE BEAM 10 SILL ANCHORS AT 6 FT. O. C. MAX. 4

Figure 4-9 illustrates a slabon-grade foundation with an integral grade beam. The rigid insulation is placed vertically on the exterior face of the grade beam. Additional insulation may be extended horizontally around the foundation perimeter.

Figure 4-9: Slab-on-Grade with Integral Grade Beam (Exterior Insulation)

BRICK VENEER 1-IN. AIRSPACE RIGID INSULATION PRESSURE-TREATED SILL PLATE (GASKET UNDER SILL PLATE) 1

INTERIOR FINISH MATERIAL INSULATION IN 2 x 4 WALL

4-IN. CONCRETE SLAB WITH OPTIONAL W.W. MESH 12 VAPOR RETARDER 13

OPENING IN EVERY OTHER VERTICAL JOINT FLASHING GROUND SLOPES AWAY FROM WALL AT 5% 3

1/2-IN. ANCHOR BOLTS AT 6 FT. O.C. MAX. 4 RIGID INSULATION 6 INSULATED BLOCK SUPPORT FOR BRICK VENEER

4-IN. GRAVEL LAYER (OPTIONAL) 14 REINFORCING (OPTIONAL) 9 CONCRETE GRADE BEAM 10

Figure 4-10 illustrates a slabon-grade foundation with an integral grade beam. This differs from Figure 4-9 in that the above grade wall is wood frame with brick veneer. The rigid insulation is placed vertically on the exterior face of the grade beam and extends upward into the cavity between the wood frame wall and the brick veneer.

Figure 4-10: Slab-on-Grade with Brick Veneer (Exterior Insulation)
Builder’s Foundation Handbook Page 71

EXTERIOR SIDING SHEATHING PRESSURE-TREATED SILL PLATE (GASKET UNDER SILL PLATE) 1

INTERIOR FINISH MATERIAL VAPOR RETARDER INSULATION IN 2 x 6 WALL ISOLATION JOINT 11 4-IN. CONCRETE SLAB WITH OPTIONAL W.W. MESH 12

Figure 4-11 illustrates a slabon-grade with a concrete foundation wall. Rigid insulation is placed vertically on the exterior face of the foundation wall. The 2 x 6 above-grade wood frame wall overhangs the insulation. The foundation wall is designed to permit vertical movement of the floor slab.

PROTECTION BOARD OR COATING 2 GROUND SLOPES AWAY FROM WALL AT 5% 3 8-IN. MIN.

1/2-IN. ANCHOR BOLTS AT 6 FT. O.C. MAX. 4 RIGID INSULATION 6 CONCRETE FOUNDATION WALL 7 CONCRETE FOOTING 10

2-IN. SAND LAYER (OPTIONAL) 12 VAPOR RETARDER 13 4-IN. GRAVEL LAYER (OPTIONAL) 14 REINFORCING (OPTIONAL) 9

Figure 4-11: Slab-on-Grade with Concrete Wall (Exterior Insulation)

EXTERIOR SIDING SHEATHING PRESSURE-TREATED SILL PLATE (GASKET UNDER SILL PLATE) 1

INTERIOR FINISH MATERIAL VAPOR RETARDER INSULATION IN 2 x 4 WALL ISOLATION JOINT 11 4-IN. CONCRETE SLAB WITH OPTIONAL W.W. MESH 12

Figure 4-12 illustrates a slabon-grade foundation with a concrete masonry foundation wall. Rigid insulation is placed vertically on the exterior face of the foundation wall. The top of the insulation is covered by flashing. Because the floor slab rests on the ledge of the foundation wall, it is important to compact the soil beneath the slab to minimize settlement and cracking of the slab.

FLASHING COVERS TOP OF INSULATION PROTECTION BOARD OR COATING 2 GROUND SLOPES AWAY FROM WALL AT 5% 3

8-IN. MIN.

1/2-IN. ANCHOR BOLTS AT 6 FT. O.C. MAX. EMBEDDED 15 IN. INTO FILLED CORES 5 RIGID INSULATION OVER CONCRETE MASONRY WALL 6 8

VAPOR RETARDER 13 4-IN. GRAVEL LAYER (OPTIONAL) 14 REINFORCING (OPTIONAL) 9 CONCRETE FOOTING 10

Figure 4-12: Slab-on-Grade with Masonry Wall (Exterior Insulation)

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Chapter 4—Slab-on-Grade Construction

MAX. 1/2-IN. ANCHOR BOLTS AT 6 FT. O. MESH 12 2-IN. CONCRETE SLAB WITH OPTIONAL W. EMBEDDED 15 IN. GRAVEL LAYER (OPTIONAL) 14 REINFORCING (OPTIONAL) 9 CONCRETE FOOTING 10 Figure 4-14 illustrates a slabon-grade with a concrete masonry foundation wall.C. INTO FILLED CORES 5 RIGID INSULATION 15 4-IN. Figure 4-14: Slab-on-Grade with Masonry Wall (Insulation Under Slab) Builder’s Foundation Handbook Page 73 . CONCRETE BLOCK ON 8-IN.C. O. Rigid insulation is placed horizontally under the slab perimeter and vertically in the joint at the slab edge. The foundation wall is designed to permit vertical movement of the floor slab. GRAVEL LAYER (OPTIONAL) 14 REINFORCING (OPTIONAL) 9 Figure 4-13 illustrates a slabon-grade with a concrete foundation wall. Figure 4-13: Slab-on-Grade with Concrete Wall (Insulation Under Slab) EXTERIOR SIDING SHEATHING INSULATION IN 2 x 6 WALL PRESSURE-TREATED SILL PLATE (GASKET UNDER SILL PLATE) 1 6-IN. CONCRETE MASONRY WALL 8 GROUND SLOPES AWAY FROM WALL AT 5% 3 8-IN.W. MAX. In order to permit vertical movement of the floor slab. ANCHOR BOLTS AT 6 FT. MIN.EXTERIOR SIDING SHEATHING INSULATION IN 2 x 6 WALL PRESSURE-TREATED SILL PLATE (GASKET UNDER SILL PLATE) 1 INTERIOR FINISH MATERIAL VAPOR RETARDER RIGID INSULATION IN JOINT 11 4-IN. Rigid insulation is placed horizontally under the slab perimeter and vertically in the joint at the slab edge.W. An optional sand layer beneath the slab is shown. CONCRETE SLAB WITH OPTIONAL W. MESH 12 VAPOR RETARDER 13 1/2-IN. MIN. SAND LAYER (OPTIONAL) 12 GROUND SLOPES AWAY FROM WALL AT 5% 3 8-IN. 6-inch wide concrete blocks are used in the top course. 4 CONCRETE FOUNDATION WALL 7 CONCRETE FOOTING 10 VAPOR RETARDER 13 RIGID INSULATION 15 4-IN. This approach utilizes a 2 x 6 above-grade wood frame wall. INTERIOR FINISH MATERIAL VAPOR RETARDER RIGID INSULATION JOINT 11 4-IN.

GRAVEL LAYER (OPTIONAL) 14 RIGID INSULATION 16 REINFORCING (OPTIONAL) 9 CONCRETE FOOTING 10 Figure 4-15: Slab-on-Grade with Masonry Wall (Interior Insulation) BRICK VENEER 1-IN. O.W.W.EXTERIOR SIDING SHEATHING INSULATION IN 2 x 4 WALL PRESSURE-TREATED SILL PLATE (GASKET UNDER SILL PLATE) 1 INTERIOR FINISH MATERIAL VAPOR RETARDER RIGID INSULATION JOINT 11 4-IN. it is important to compact the soil beneath the slab to minimize settlement and cracking of the slab. ANCHOR BOLTS AT 6 FT. BLOCK SUPPORT FOR BRICK VENEER CONCRETE FOUNDATION WALL 7 4-IN. PRESSURE-TREATED SILL PLATE (GASKET UNDER SILL PLATE) 1 OPENING IN EVERY OTHER VERTICAL JOINT FLASHING GROUND SLOPES AWAY FROM WALL AT 5% 3 RIGID INSULATION 15 1/2-IN. 1/2-IN. MAX.C. O. CONCRETE SLAB WITH OPTIONAL W. INTO FILLED CORES 5 CONCRETE MASONRY WALL 8 4-IN. CONCRETE SLAB WITH OPTIONAL W. MAX. The approach above-grade wall system consists of a 2 x 4 wood frame wall with brick veneer. Rigid insulation is placed horizontally under the slab perimeter and vertically in the joint at the slab edge. Because the floor slab rests on the ledge of the foundation wall.C. ANCHOR BOLTS AT 6 FT. GRAVEL LAYER (OPTIONAL) 14 REINFORCING (OPTIONAL) 9 CONCRETE FOOTING 10 Figure 4-16: Slab-on-Grade with Brick Veneer (Insulation Under Slab) Page 74 Chapter 4—Slab-on-Grade Construction . it is important the compact the soil beneath the slab to minimize settlement and cracking of the slab. EMBEDDED 15 IN. MESH 12 VAPOR RETARDER 13 Figure 4-15 illustrates a slabon-grade foundation with a concrete masonry foundation wall. AIRSPACE SHEATHING INTERIOR FINISH MATERIAL INSULATION IN 2 x 4 WALL RIGID INSULATION IN JOINT 11 4-IN. MIN. Rigid insulation is placed vertically on the interior face of the foundation wall and extends into the joint at the slab edge. 4 6-IN. This approach utilizes a 2 x 4 above-grade wood frame wall. Because the floor slab rests on the ledge of the foundation wall. MESH 12 VAPOR RETARDER 13 Figure 4-16 illustrates a slabon-grade with a concrete foundation wall. GROUND SLOPES AWAY FROM WALL AT 5% 3 8-IN.

no reinforcing is required. Surface drainage: The ground surface should slope downward at least 5 percent (6 inches) over the first 10 feet surrounding the foundation edge to direct surface runoff away from the building. 2. Gravel layer under slab: A 4-inch compacted gravel layer should be placed under the concrete floor slab for drainage unless local conditions have proven this to be unnecessary. galvanized metal or aluminum flashing.NOTES FOR ALL DETAILED SLAB-ON-GRADE DRAWINGS (FIGURES 4-9 THROUGH 4-16) 1. Most codes require bolts of 1/2inch minimum diameter embedded at least 7 inches into the wall. 16. fiberglass. 5. Insulation protection: Exterior insulation materials should not be exposed above grade. Anchor bolts for concrete walls: Anchor bolts should be embedded in the top of concrete foundation walls. or insulated to prevent frost penetration. Concrete/masonry wall: Generally. Welded wire fabric placed 2 inches below the slab surface is recommended to control shrinkage cracks. 3. and (3) fiberglass or polystyrene drainage boards when installed with an appropriate drainage system. Sill plate: The sill plate should be at least 8 inches above grade and pressure-preservative treated to resist decay. An alternative technique is to pour the slab on a layer of sand or drainage board material above the vapor retarder to minimize cracking. concrete slabs should not rest on footings or ledges of foundation walls if possible to avoid cracking due to settlement. 11. where there are stable soils and low seismic activity. and (3) insulating drainage boards with sufficient compressive strength. Builder’s Foundation Handbook Page 75 . codes require bolts to be embedded 15 inches in masonry walls to resist uplift. a concrete mixture with a low water/ cement ratio is recommended. (Optional) 15. To provide adequate anchorage in a masonry wall. Isolation joint: An isolation joint should be provided at the slab edge to permit independent movement without cracking. 13. bolts either must be embedded in a bond beam or the appropriate cores of the upper course of block must be filled with mortar. or a cementitious coating — extending at least 6 inches below grade. Anchor bolts for masonry walls: Anchor bolts should be embedded in the top of masonry foundation walls. Concrete footings or grade beams: Concrete footings or grade beams should be designed to distribute the load to the soil and be placed beneath the maximum frost penetration depth unless founded on bedrock or proven non-frost-susceptible soil. are recommended where differential settlement is a potential problem. 4. Cast-in-place concrete wall: Concrete used in the wall should have a minimum compressive strength of 2500 psi with a 4. Vapor retarder: A 6-mil polyethylene vapor retarder should be placed beneath the slab to reduce moisture transmission and radon infiltration into the building. Interior rigid insulation materials: Acceptable materials for placement inside a foundation wall include (1) extruded polystyrene boards (XEPS) and (2) expanded polystyrene boards (MEPS). If a slab is poured directly over an impermeable vapor retarder or insulation board. 8.to 6-inch slump. In some locations. (Optional) 10. Where radon is a concern. 14. 12. Anchor bolts can be placed at a maximum spacing of 6 feet and no further than 1 foot from any corner. no reinforcing is required. (2) molded expanded polystyrene boards (MEPS) when the compressive strength is sufficient and adequate drainage is provided. Downspouts and gutters should be used to collect roof drainage and direct it away from the foundation walls. No additional water should be added at the job site. 7. Exterior insulation materials: Acceptable materials for exterior foundation insulation are: (1) extruded polystyrene boards (XEPS) under any condition. Generally. (2) molded expanded polystyrene boards (MEPS) for vertical applications when porous backfill and adequate drainage are provided. Concrete slab: A minimum slab thickness of 4 inches is recommended using concrete with a minimum compressive strength of 2500 psi. a liquid sealant should be poured into the joint over a foam backing rod. Generally. 9. The above-grade material should be covered by a protective material — such as exterior grade plastic. Generally. 6. Insulation under the slab: Acceptable materials for underslab insulation are: (1) extruded polystyrene boards (XEPS) under any condition. anchor bolts can be placed at a maximum spacing of 6 feet and no further than 1 foot from any corner. where there are stable soils and in areas of low seismic activity. Concrete should have a minimum compressive strength of 2500 psi. Crack control reinforcing in footing: Reinforcing bars placed 2 inches below the top of the footing or 2 inches above the bottom of the grade beam. Most codes require bolts of 1/2inch minimum diameter to be embedded at least 7 inches into the wall. running parallel to the wall.

curbs. property corners. to be protected from damage ____ Confirm elevation of water table ____ Determine type and dimensions of drainage systems ____ Discharge roof drainage away from foundation ____ Remove stumps and grubbing debris from site ____ Provide frost heave protection for winter construction ____ Call for test hole (full depth hole in proposed foundation location) ____ Locate stakes and benchmarks ____ Strip and stock pile topsoil ____ Define spoil site Page 76 Chapter 4—Slab-on-Grade Construction . “finish grade” (landscape contractor) ____ Establish elevations of finish grades. ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ Elevate slab above existing grade Provide minimum 4-inch-thick aggregate drainage layer under slab Locate plumbing to be cast in slab Locate electrical service to be cast in slab Locate gas service to be cast in slab SITEWORK ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ Locate building at the highest point if the site is wet ____ Define “finish subgrade” (grading contractor). Leave unfinished items unchecked. Use different symbols to distinguish items that have been satisfied (+) from those that have been checked but do not apply (x). and provides general guidance on project management. OVERALL SLAB CONSTRUCTION General considerations. foundation drain outfalls. buried cables. changes in boundaries ____ Establish grading tolerances ____ Provide intercepting drains upgrade of foundation if needed ____ Locate dry wells and recharge pits below foundation level ____ Establish precautions for stabilizing excavation ____ Establish limits of excavation and determine trees. Note that not all measures are necessary under all conditions. catch basins. bulkheads. For example. Expansive soils require special measures. sewers. They generally minimize moisture and radon hazard but make detection of termite intrusions especially difficult. Slab floors require advance planning for plumbing and electrical service. etc. driveways. The checklist could be used many ways. “rough grade” level before topsoil is respread.4. drainage swales. roots.. pipes. helps review the completeness of construction drawings and specifications. “base grade” (construction contractor).4 Checklist for Design and Construction of Slab-on-Grade Foundations This checklist serves as a chapter summary. use one set of blanks during design and the second set during construction inspection.

garage and carport slabs.SLAB-ON-GRADE FOUNDATION CHECKLIST (PAGE 2 OF 4) FOOTINGS ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ Position bottom of footing at least 6 inches below frost depth around perimeter (frost wall at garage. Note: add no water at site Allowable slump Acceptable and unacceptable admixtures Curing requirements (special hot. sidewalks. fireplace foundations. columns. footings. steps. dry conditions) Dampening of subgrade prior to pour Surface finish Shrinkage control: WWF reinforcement or control joints Key or dowelling for construction joints Builder’s Foundation Handbook Page 77 . 4 or No. other elements attached to structure). mechanical equipment pads. ____ Confirm adequacy of footing sizes ____ Do not fill the overexcavated footing trench ____ Install longitudinal reinforcing (two No. slabs supporting roofs. 5 bars 2 inches from top) ____ Reinforce footing at spans over utility trenches ____ Do not bear footings partially on rock (sand fill) ____ Do not pour footings on frozen ground ____ Indicate minimum concrete compressive strength after 28 days ____ Call out elevations of top of footings and dimension elevation changes in plan ____ Use keyway or steel dowels to anchor foundation walls ____ Dimension stepped footings according to local codes and good practice (conform to masonry dimensions if applicable) ____ Provide through-joint flashing as a capillary break STRUCTURAL ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ Avoid ledge-supported slabs unless structurally reinforced ____ Place isolation joints at frost wall. drains ____ Check that partition load does not exceed 500 pounds per linear foot on unreinforced slab ____ Call out depressed bottom of slab where top is depressed ____ Reinforce slab at depressions greater than 1-1/2 inch ____ Use wire chairs or precast pedestals to support WWF ____ Place sand layer over vapor retarder or insulation board ____ Compact fill under slab Determine general concrete specifications: ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ Minimum compressive strength after 28 days Maximum water/cement ratio. cold.

Horizontal exterior insulation reduces frost penetration depth. stairs. ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ Confirm that insulation R-value meets local codes and/or recommendations from this handbook ____ Install insulation product suitable for in-ground use ____ Install infiltration sealing gasket under sole plate ____ Place vapor retarder under slab DECAY AND TERMITE CONTROL MEASURES General considerations. door sills. decks. Strategy: (1) Isolate wood members from soil by an air space or impermeable barrier.SLAB-ON-GRADE FOUNDATION CHECKLIST (PAGE 3 OF 4) THERMAL AND MOISTURE CONTROLS General considerations. rim joists. wood embedded in concrete during pour ____ Do not disturb treated soil prior to concreting ____ Avoid ducts beneath floor slab top surface ____ Specify pressure-treated wall sole plates and sleepers ____ Pressure-treat sill plates. Pressure-treated lumber is less susceptible to attack. (2) expose critical areas for inspection. other finish wood members at least 6 inches above grade (rain splash protection) ____ Separate raised porches and decks from the building by 2-inch horizontal clearance or provide proper flashing (for drainage and termite inspection) ____ Pitch solid surface porches. especially with insulated slab Page 78 Chapter 4—Slab-on-Grade Construction . and at the floor perimeter. spreader sticks. Continuity of insulation is difficult except for exterior placement. decks.. wood members in contact with foundation walls and floors ____ Pressure-treat all outdoor weather-exposed wood members ____ Install dampproof membrane under sill plate (flashing or sill seal gasket) ____ Elevate sill plate minimum 8 inches above exterior grade ____ Elevate wood posts and framing supporting porches. Termite shields are not reliable barriers unless installed correctly. patios for drainage (minimum 1/4 in/ft) ____ Detail slab porch and patios to prevent termite access to superstructure (structural slab over inspectable crawl space) ____ Treat soil with termiticide. but is no substitute for proper detailing. ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ Reinforce slab ____ Remove all grade stakes. above grade (6-inch minimum) on concrete piers ____ Elevate wood siding. Heat loss rate is greatest at the exposed slab edge or frost wall above grade. etc.

(3) provisions to simplify retrofit. chases. price. spreader sticks. wood embedded in concrete during pour ____ Form perimeter wall joint with trough. Check state and local health agencies for need of protection. and procedure for firing) ____ Building permits ____ SITE INSPECTIONS DURING CONSTRUCTION ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ After excavation and before concrete is poured for the footings After the footings have been poured before foundation wall construction After foundation construction and dampproofing before rough framing After rough framing After rough plumbing After rough electrical After insulation installation before drywall and backfilling in case of exterior insulation ____ Final Builder’s Foundation Handbook Page 79 . (2) air management.SLAB-ON-GRADE FOUNDATION CHECKLIST (PAGE 4 OF 4) RADON CONTROL MEASURES General considerations. describe the work by referencing the blueprints and specs. clean gravel under the slab ____ Separate outdoor intakes for combustion devices ____ Install air barrier wrap around superstructure ____ Seal around flues. payment schedule. ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ Reinforce slab ____ Remove all grade stakes. attic stairs PLANS. fill with pour-in sealant ____ Place vapor retarder under slab (optional sand layer) ____ Caulk joints around pipes and conduits ____ Place minimum 4-inch-thick layer of coarse. handling of disputes. Strategies: (1) barriers. its rate of entry through the foundation depends on suction due to stack effect and superstructure air leakage. excavation allowance. vent stacks. state the start/completion dates. handling of change orders. Since radon is a gas. CONTRACTS. AND BUILDING PERMITS ____ ____ ____ ____ Plans and specs ____ Bid package ____ Contractual arrangements (describe principals. The potential for radon hazard is present in all buildings.

climate.2P (ASHRAE 1989).CHAPTER 5 Worksheet for Selection of Optimal Foundation Insulation STEP A: IDENTIFY FOUNDATION CHARACTERISTICS STEP B: DETERMINE HEATING CLIMATE STEP C: DETERMINE HEATING LOAD SAVINGS STEP D: DETERMINE HEATING ENERGY DOLLAR SAVINGS STEP E: DETERMINE COOLING CLIMATE STEP F: DETERMINE COOLING LOAD SAVINGS STEP G: DETERMINE COOLING ENERGY DOLLAR SAVINGS STEP H: DETERMINE NET DOLLAR SAVINGS Figure 5-1: Steps in Worksheet to Determine Optimal Foundation Insulation This worksheet will help you choose the optimal foundation insulation location and amount for a new or existing residential building based on your specific building construction. and you may choose from three different economic decision criteria: (1) a 20-year minimum life cycle cost (suggested for retrofit). the CABO Model Energy Code (CABO 1989). The major steps of the worksheet are shown schematically in Figure 5-1. Step-by-step instructions guide you through the fill-in-theblank worksheet. insulation cost.1. This is followed by some examples of how to use the worksheets in section 5. and 4 of this handbook. However. Included in the tables are representative insulation R-values and installation costs. and to determine additional R-values not included in the list of typical values shown in Table 5-2 (Worksheet 3). 3. or (3) a second-year positive cash flow. Most of the blanks may be filled with inputs you select from the accompanying tables. and other economic considerations. as used in ASHRAE 90. The worksheets and tables as well as accompanying descriptions and instructions appear in section 5.2. (2) a 30-year minimum life cycle cost. heating and cooling equipment. However. The formulas used as a basis for Worksheet 1 are shown in Figure 5-2. 3. Page 80 Chapter 5—Worksheet for Determining Optimal Foundation Insulation . The energy savings of various foundation insulation configurations can be determined from the same heating and cooling load data used to develop the general recommendations in chapters 2. here you may input your current local energy prices and actual insulation costs. and 4. and to develop the general recommendations in chapter 2. optional worksheets are provided to help you estimate your actual insulation installation cost (Worksheet 2).

1 Descriptions and Instructions for Worksheets THERMAL PERFORMANCE Worksheet 1 helps you estimate the heating and cooling load changes resulting from the foundation insulation options you are considering.Installation Costs Notes: 1. 5. HDD are heating degree days found in Table 5-1. CLFI and CLFS are factors found in Table 5-4. 3. from Table 5-1. On each page you identify your climate by entering the local heating degree days (HDD base 65OF) and cooling degree hours (CDH base 74OF). You can specify any reasonable effective Rvalue and installed insulation cost.000 Cooling Energy Dollar Savings = Cooling Load Savings ___________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ x Economic Scalar Ratio CEEF x Duct Efficiency x (Cooling Energy Price Rate x Conversion Factor) Net Dollar Savings = Heating Energy Dollar Savings + Cooling Energy Dollar Savings . which includes a markup for the subcontractor and the builder.000. Heating Load Factor = HLFI + (HLFS x HDD) Heating Load Savings = Heating Load Factor x UDELTA x HDD _________________________________________________________________________________ 1. Table 5-2 provides the list of foundation types and insulation configurations covered by the worksheet. 6. CDH are cooling degree hours found in Table 5-1. The first page of the worksheet addresses the heating season savings while the second page addresses cooling season savings.000 Heating Energy Dollar Savings = Heating Load Savings ____________________________________________________ x Economic Scalar Ratio HEEF x Duct Efficiency x (Heating Energy Price Rate x Conversion Factor) Cooling Load Factor = CLFI + (CLFS x CDH) Cooling Load Savings = Cooling Load Factor x UDELTA x CDH 1. Figure 5-2: Formulas Used as a Basis for Worksheet 1 Builder’s Foundation Handbook Page 81 . However. Examples of typical average installed costs for new construction in 1987 are provided in Table 52. UDELTA can be found in Table 5-2 or calculated using Worksheet 3. HEEF is the heating system efficiency and CEEF is the cooling system efficiency (see Table 5-6). you may choose to estimate your own foundation insulation costs by using Worksheet 2. 2. 7. you may use Worksheet 3 for determining the U-values needed to consider this option in the optimization. 4. HLFI and HLFS are factors found in Table 5-3. If a desired level of insulation is not provided in Table 5-2. Economic scalar ratio is found in Table 5-7. UDELTA is the difference in U-value between the uninsulated case and an insulated case.5.

This procedure has been shown to reproduce the recommended insulation configuration tables in chapters 2. Step A. 1 percent loan placement fee “points”. Multiply line 7 (HLFS) by line 5 (HDD) and enter the result on line 8.000. Installed costs are presented in Table 5-2 or may be determined using Worksheet 2.75 when ducts are in unconditioned spaces.9 for the HVAC duct efficiency (line 15) for unconditioned spaces like attics and crawl spaces. 10 percent after tax equivalent discount rate. for the slab foundation type you can include the following insulation configurations: 2 ft vertical exterior. 20year life cycle cost. Suggested values for the heating equipment efficiency (HEEF) are listed in Table 5-6. and 30-year life cycle cost. Step D. The option with the highest positive net savings value in step H of Worksheet 1 is the most cost-effective option. Step B. The present worth factor for the mortgage payments adjusts for income tax savings and accounts for points paid at the beginning of occupancy as a loan placement fee. then multiplying that result by HDD from line 5 and finally dividing by 1. Determine heating degree days base 65OF (HDD) for your climate from Table 5-1 and enter on line 5. ASHRAE 90. The heating load savings of each foundation option are determined by multiplying UDELTA from line 10 by the heating load factor on line 9. A simple way of thinking about the scalar ratio is that it is the maximum allowable simple payback to the homeowner of any foundation insulation cost. Also shown are seven different fuel escalation rates (0 to 6 percent) which include inflation. and 4 of this handbook. Most of the cases that were different resulted from the relatively similar net savings values from a number of different configurations. The higher the scalar ratio. For determining the heating load savings. Enter UDELTA from Table 5-2 (or Worksheet 3) on line 10. and 30 percent marginal income tax (state and federal combined). the greater the present worth value of the energy savings. 4 ft vertical exterior. Over 200 cases were run through this worksheet and the Page 82 Chapter 5—Worksheet for Determining Optimal Foundation Insulation . but you must use Worksheet 2 to obtain current costs. It is based on no additional down payment. Step C. HLFS) from Table 5-3 for the appropriate climate and foundation system on lines 6 and 7. Some typical values for new construction costs are shown in Table 5-2. results compared to more detailed computer simulations. Add lines 6 and 8 and enter the results on line 9 (this is the heating load factor). and 12 percent.2P used a heating duct efficiency of 0.000 for each option. 11. You may choose more than one insulation configuration from Table 5-2 in order to compare the results. When ducts are located within the NET DOLLAR SAVINGS The last step in the worksheet derives the net dollar savings of each foundation insulation option. and three mortgage rates: 10. For example. keep the originals for future jobs. VALIDATION OF WORKSHEET 1 The objective of this worksheet is to lead you to the most cost-effective foundation insulation level based on your specific economic and HVAC performance characteristics. which leads to higher recommended insulation levels. enter coefficients (HLFI. Enter the installation cost for each configuration on line 4. The data base on which this worksheet is based uses 0. Duct efficiencies can be much lower. INSTRUCTIONS FOR WORKSHEET 1 Suggestion: Make photocopies of the worksheets. Select the foundation type and insulation configuration from Table 5-2. The scalar ratio is the ratio of the present worth factor for energy savings divided by the present worth factor of mortgage payments for the added foundation insulation cost. the energy savings can be estimated. Table 5-7 provides a variety of scalar ratios derived using three different economic decision criteria: second-year positive cash flow. 3. The selection of the present worth scalar ratios is where you define your desired economic decision criteria. and 2 ft vertical interior.ENERGY SAVINGS Once the load changes are derived for each case. These costs were national average values in 1987. The worksheet led to the exact same recommended configuration over 80 percent of the time.

Enter heating energy price rate and multiply by conversion factor: 18. Enter the economic scalar ratio from Table 5-7 20. Enter heating degree days (HDD) from Table 5-1 _____________ _____________ _____________ STEP C: DETERMINE HEATING LOAD SAVINGS 6. Enter HLFS from Table 5-3 8. Enter HLFI from Table 5-3 7.000. Enter insulation configuration from Table 5-2 3. Electricity: __________$ per kWh B. Multiply line 7 (HLFS) by line 5 (HDD) 9. Add lines 6 and 8 [units: Btu/(HDD x UDELTA)] 10. Multiply line 11 by line 5 (HDD) 13. Multiply line 14 by 0.) * If the configuration utilizes perimeter insulation then all units are expressed per lineal foot. Propane: X X X X _____________ 293 = _____________ 10 = _____________ 7. Multiply line 18 by line 19 [units: $/lin ft or sq ft]* (NOTE: If cooling energy savings are not to be included in the calculation. Divide line 13 (heating load savings) by line 15 A. or slab) 2. Enter heating system efficiency from Table 5-6 (HEEF) _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ 15.9 (duct efficiency) _____________ (see instructions for alternative duct efficiency numbers) 16. Fuel oil: D. Divide line 12 by 1.Worksheet 1: Selection of Optimal Foundation Insulation (Page 1 of 2) CASE 1 STEP A: IDENTIFY FOUNDATION CHARACTERISTICS 1. Multiply line 9 by line 10 12.000 [units: MBtu/lin ft or sq ft]* _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ STEP D: DETERMINE HEATING ENERGY DOLLAR SAVINGS 14. Enter UDELTA from Table 5-2 (or Worksheet 3) 11. Builder’s Foundation Handbook Page 83 . Multiply line 16 by line 17 19. Enter nominal R-value from Table 5-2 4.9 = _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ 17. If the configuration utilizes ceiling insulation then all units are expressed per square foot.2 = _____________ 10. crawl space. Natural gas: __________$ per therm __________$ per gallon __________$ per gallon C. Enter installation cost from Table 5-2 or use Worksheet 2 [units: $/lin ft or $/sq ft]* _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ CASE 2 CASE 3 _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ ____________ STEP B: DETERMINE HEATING CLIMATE 5. go directly to STEP H. Enter foundation type (basement.

If the configuration utilizes ceiling insulation then all units are expressed per square foot._____________ _____________ . Enter CLFS from Table 5-4 24. Multiply line 26 (UDELTA) by line 25 (CLF) 28. Multiply line 34 by line 35 [units: $/lin ft or sq ft]* _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ STEP H: DETERMINE NET DOLLAR SAVINGS 37. Enter cooling energy electric rate (i... Multiply line 27 by line 21 (CDH) 29. Multiply line 30 by 0. Page 84 Chapter 5—Worksheet for Determining Optimal Foundation Insulation ..9 (duct efficiency) 32.e. Enter UDELTA from line 10 ( Table 5-2 or Worksheet 3) 27. Enter cooling degree hours (CDH) from Table 5-1 _____________ _____________ _____________ STEP F: DETERMINE COOLING LOAD SAVINGS 22. Multiply line 32 by line 33 35. Enter the economic scalar ratio from Table 5-7 36. $ 0.078 per kWh) 34. Enter cooling system efficiency from Table 5-6 (CEEF) 31._____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ ____________ STEP G: DETERMINE COOLING ENERGY DOLLAR SAVINGS 30. Add line 20 (heating) and line 36 (cooling) 38. Divide line 29 (cooling load savings) by line 31 33. Add lines 22 and 24 [units: Btu/(CDH x UDELTA)] 26.000 [units: KBtu/lin ft or sq ft]* _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ . Multiply line 23 (CLFS) by line 21 (CDH) 25. Enter CLFI from Table 5-4 23.Worksheet 1: Selection of Optimal Foundation Insulation (Page 2 of 2) CASE 1 CASE 2 CASE 3 STEP E: DETERMINE COOLING CLIMATE 21. Divide line 28 by 1. Subtract line 4 (costs) from line 37 (savings) [units: $/lin ft or sq ft]* _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ * If the configuration utilizes perimeter insulation then all units are expressed per lineal foot.

This step subtracts the first cost of each option (line 4) from the corresponding present worth value of the energy savings. enter coefficients (CLFI. The second-year positive cash flow criteria requires that after the second year the additional mortgage payment for the foundation insulation be less than the resulting annual energy savings. then multiplying that result by CDH from line 21 and finally dividing by 1. mortgage rates.2P (ASHRAE 1989). The value to be entered in line 33 must be in dollars per kWh. Determine cooling degree hours base 74OF (CDH) for your climate from Table 5-1 and enter on line 21. The option with the largest positive value in line 38 is the most costeffective option. and real fuel escalation rates. Line 33 is the current year's cooling energy Builder’s Foundation Handbook Page 85 price (consult your local electric utility for prices). Enter UDELTA from Table 5-2 (or Worksheet 3) on line 26. 1988). foundation insulation may not be a good investment for this project.9 for cooling duct efficiency. Line 35 is the scalar ratio used to estimate the present worth of the cooling energy savings resulting from foundation insulation. and (3) 30year minimum life cycle cost analysis. If still none exist.9 and 1. CLFS) from Table 5-4 for the appropriate climate and foundation system on lines 22 and 23. Table 5-7 provides a variety of scalar ratios calculated with different mortgage rates. The Building Foundation Design Handbook assumes 0. fuel escalation rates. To be consistent with these codes and standards. Step G. The result on line 20 is the heating energy dollar savings. and three different economic decision criteria: (1) second-year positive cash flow.000 for each option. Multiplying the energy price rate by the conversion factors shown on line 17 expresses the result in $/MBtu. Select a set of options that have lower installed costs and repeat the worksheet. (2) 20-year minimum life cycle cost analysis. use 18 in line 19. this indicates that none of the cases meet your cost-effectiveness criteria. ASHRAE Standard 90. and the Model Energy Code (CABO 1989) are all based on a scalar ratio of about 18.0. when ducts are in unconditioned spaces. Line 17 is the current year's heating energy price. Suggested values for the cooling equipment efficiency (CEEF) are shown in Table 5-6. Step H. Step E. Add lines 22 and 24 and enter the results on line 25 (this is the cooling load factor).2p uses 0. To be consistent with various codes and standards listed in Step D. Step F. use a scalar ratio of 18 in line 35. For determining the cooling load savings. Multiply line 23 (CLFS) by line 21 (CDH) and enter the result on line 24. Line 31 is the HVAC duct efficiency while providing cooling. The result on line 36 is the cooling energy dollar savings. The Building Foundation Design Handbook (Labs et al.8 for cooling duct efficiency. ASHRAE 90. If all the net savings values in line 38 are negative. . use a value between 0.INSTRUCTIONS FOR WORKSHEET 1 (CONTINUED) conditioned space. Table 5-7 provides a variety of scalar ratios based on different economic criteria. The cooling load savings of each foundation option are determined by multiplying UDELTA from line 26 by the cooling load factor on line 25. The economic scalar ratio is used to determine the present worth of the foundation insulation heating energy savings.

3) 12. Chapter 5—Worksheet for Determining Optimal Foundation Insulation . Enter installation cost for insulation 7. Material costs should be for the entire job. These markups account for indirect charges. For insulation retrofits. and 8 to determine total labor cost _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ STEP C: DETERMINE TOTAL INSTALLED COST 10.3) 13. Divide line 12 by the foundation perimeter length in feet _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ INSTRUCTIONS FOR WORKSHEET 2 Step A. the builder markup should be 1.0. 7. Enter installation cost for any framing or furring 8. 6. Multiply line 11 by the general contractor markup (example: 1. Line 3 includes the above-grade protection needed for exterior insulation or flame spread protection for interior applications. The total installed cost may include subcontractor markup (line 11) and builder markup (line 12). Enter the total material cost of fasteners 3. 2. Enter the cost of protective covering or required flame spread protection 4. If the covering provides other amenities such as aesthetics (basement finishing needed anyway) then this cost should be zero. Step C. Line 5 includes surface preparation that may be needed such as cleaning prior to liquid adhesive application. Enter installation cost for any protective covering 9. and profit. Add lines 1.0. The costs for new construction foundation insulation in Table 5-2 include 30 percent for both markups. Enter site preparation cost 6. In retrofit installations the cost of excavation for exterior systems and interior wall fixture Page 86 relocation for interior systems should be entered. Lines 6 and 7 cover total labor cost of attaching the insulation. For homeowner retrofit the subcontractor markup could also be 1. Line 2 includes the insulation attachment materials. Line 8 includes the labor for applying either the exterior above-grade covering or flame spread protection covering on the interior if done only to meet safety standards. and 3 to determine the total material cost STEP B: DETERMINE LABOR COST 5. Step B. Add lines 4 and 9 11. for use in Steps A and H of Worksheet 1 for selection of optimal foundation insulation. Enter the total material cost of insulation 2. Add lines 5. Multiply line 10 by the subcontractor markup (example: 1.Worksheet 2: Optional Method for Estimating Foundation Insulation Installation Cost CASE 1 _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ CASE 2 _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ CASE 3 _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ STEP A: DETERMINE MATERIAL COST 1. overhead. Line 1 represents the material costs for the entire area to be covered. Line 13 converts the total cost into dollars per foundation perimeter foot. examples are fasteners for exterior systems and framing for interior systems.

REFF.12. the nominal R-value can be added to RBASE to obtain REFF.. Step E. The U-value of only the insulation layer for foundation walls can be calculated by assuming parallel heat flow paths through areas with different thermal resistances. an insulated stud wall will have wood and mineral batts. Follow the calculation procedure on line 12 to find UTOTAL. the fraction of framing is usually assumed to be approximately 0. for studs 24 inches on center.e. This is the Uvalue of the uninsulated case. RBASE must be selected from Table 5-5. Area1 is the fraction of the total area covered by material 1 (i. then follow the calculation procedure on lines 9 and 10 to find UBASE. Lines 2a through 2e are the R-values of materials contained in the insulation layer. and UDELTA are all defined in the instructions for worksheet 3 above Figure 5-3: Formulas Used as a Basis for Worksheet 3 Builder’s Foundation Handbook Page 87 . Step B. Lines 1a through 1e are fractions of the total area transverse to heat flow representing the component materials of the wall system. Step D. For stud walls 16 inches on center. 2.. If the fasteners are to be ignored for board insulations as was done in Table 52. Effective R-value (REFF) = RBASE + 1 _______________________________________________________________ (Area1 / R1 + Area2 / R2 + .INSTRUCTIONS FOR WORKSHEET 3 Step A. Choose the set of values listed for the foundation system options you would like to consider. Add REFF from line 6 to RSOIL from line 8 and enter the result on line 11. Use Table 5-5 to obtain the effective R-value of the uninsulated foundation construction (RBASE) and the effective R-value of the adjacent soil (RSOIL). R1 and R2 represent the R-values of material 1 and material 2 4. For example.15. rather they are values that produce the best representation of the annual heating and cooling load savings data base on which this worksheet is based. These values should not be varied from those shown for each system in Table 5-5. This is the U-value of the insulated case. UTOTAL. These are not actual R-values. UBASE. Step C.) UBASE = 1 ____________________________ RBASE + RSOIL UTOTAL = 1 _________________________ REFF + RSOIL UDELTA = UBASE .UTOTAL Notes: 1. it is approximately 0. RBASE and RSOIL are found in Table 5-5. Insert REFF in line 6. It represents the system that was modeled and cannot be varied in this worksheet. The difference in U-value for each insulation level is determined by subtracting UTOTAL (line 12) from UBASE (line 10) for each option. material 1 may be insulation covering 90% of the wall while material 2 may be wood framing covering 10% of the wall) 3.

Add lines 4 and 5 to determine REFF _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ STEP C: DETERMINE THE U-VALUE OF UNINSULATED CASE (UBASE) 7.. Component 5 _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ 2. Line 1e divided by R-value for component 5 3. Enter RSOIL from Table 5-5 9. Line 1b divided by R-value for component 2 c. Component 4 e. Line 1c divided by R-value for component 3 d. Line 1d divided by R-value for component 4 e.Worksheet 3: Optional Method for Determining UDELTA CASE 1 CASE 2 CASE 3 STEP A: CALCULATE THE U-VALUE OF INSULATION ASSEMBLY 1. Component 1 (example: insulation) b. Component 2 (example: framing) c.) _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ STEP B: CALCULATE THE EFFECTIVE R-VALUE (REFF) 4. Enter the appropriate RBASE from Table 5-5 5. Line 1a divided by R-value for component 1 b. Enter RBASE from Table 5-5 8. Divide 1 by line 3 6. Divide 1 by line 11 [units: Btu/ F x ft x h] O 2 _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ STEP E: DETERMINE U-VALUE DIFFERENCE (UDELTA) 13. Add the results of line 2 to determine the overall U-value (2a + 2b + 2c + . Subtract line 12 from line 10 [units: Btu/OF x ft2 x h] _____________ _____________ _____________ Page 88 Chapter 5—Worksheet for Determining Optimal Foundation Insulation . Add line 6 (REFF) and line 8 (RSOIL) 12.. Divide the fractional values in line 1 by the corresponding R-values a. Component 3 d. Add lines 7 and 8 10. Divide 1 by line 9 [units: Btu/ F x ft x h] O 2 _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ STEP D: DETERMINE THE U-VALUE OF INSULATED CASE (UTOTAL) 11. Enter the fraction of the total area covered by each component a.

base 65 degrees Fahrenheit Builder’s Foundation Handbook Page 89 .base 74 degrees Fahrenheit 2.Table 5-1: Weather Data for Selected Cities (page 1 of 2) Location Alabama Birmingham Mobile Montgomery Arizona Phoenix Tucson Arkansas Fort Smith Little Rock California Bakersfield Fresno Los Angeles Sacramento San Diego San Francisco Colorado Colorado Springs Denver Connecticut Hartford CDH1 HDD2 Location Indiana Evansville Ft. D. Wayne Indianapolis South Bend Iowa Des Moines Sioux City Kansas Topeka Wichita Kentucky Lexington Louisville Louisiana Baton Rouge Lake Charles New Orleans Shreveport Maine Bangor Portland Maryland Baltimore Massachusetts Boston Michigan Detroit Flint Grand Rapids Lansing Minnesota Duluth Minneapolis Mississippi Jackson 9804 6665 12117 5802 6455 5654 Missouri Kansas City Springfield St. 12121 Florida Jacksonville Miami Orlando Tallahassee Tampa Palm Beach Georgia Atlanta Augusta Macon Savannah Idaho Boise Illinois Chicago Springfield 25200 32951 25072 18051 26167 32531 15710 20921 22388 19953 1. Cooling degree hours .C. Louis Montana Billings Great Falls 18818 13853 16302 6991 4498 5283 4660 4938 7212 7766 CDH1 HDD2 19497 20047 23355 52408 38743 22474 22467 27919 21311 2416 14026 2514 843 6089 8586 5151 2943 169 2277 1442 1734 3477 3152 2128 2647 1595 2772 1284 3161 6346 6014 6174 5004 1402 199 656 1652 739 262 3021 2563 2279 1921 14947 7990 9091 6311 9512 10581 16433 19757 9472 14868 24267 24628 23546 26043 2234 2796 10688 5413 6519 4216 5813 4938 1672 6344 23321 4260 6320 5650 6377 6554 6947 5319 4787 4814 4525 1673 1579 1490 2269 7947 7501 4706 5593 6563 7068 6927 6987 9901 8007 2389 District of Columbia Washington. Heating degree days .

Heating degree days . Worth El Paso Houston Laredo Lubbock Midland Nashville San Antonio Waco Wichita Falls Utah Salt Lake City Vermont Burlington Virginia Norfolk Richmond Roanoke Washington Seattle Spokane Wisconsin Green Bay La Crosse Madison Milwaukee West Virginia Charleston Huntington Wyoming Casper CDH1 HDD2 12448 44433 9403 15538 5461 2304 4284 8337 5224 5274 15940 12261 13851 11673 6861 4329 5041 10178 6834 9341 8401 6209 4734 23642 4436 9500 2711 4443 8091 9303 5024 4219 4359 6194 2532 6030 4414 6927 7344 6798 4922 6713 6787 3342 3874 3342 3679 9075 9881 6241 4950 6178 5447 5255 6570 6560 3731 4799 4798 4691 4974 5335 4947 5950 6114 5908 16473 21060 7872 16361 14641 21614 16968 32314 34029 32684 34425 28602 47650 48983 19974 26098 17728 31614 31843 29921 12874 3163 12766 13546 10576 1222 5567 3129 5738 6164 4565 9486 10419 6723 2147 2629 7885 3583 3658 3207 4231 1760 609 945 2301 2664 1549 926 3516 2658 3756 1606 2126 3011 5802 7953 3446 3960 4315 4681 6882 8143 7540 7642 7326 4697 4676 7642 1. Cooling degree hours .base 74 degrees Fahrenheit 2.Table 5-1: Weather Data for Selected Cities (page 2 of 2) Location Nebraska Omaha Nevada Las Vegas Reno New Mexico Albuquerque New York Albany Binghamton Buffalo New York City Rochester Syracuse North Carolina Charlotte Greensboro Raleigh Winston-Salem North Dakota Bismarck Grand Forks Ohio Canton Cincinnati Cleveland Columbus Dayton Toledo Youngstown Oklahoma Tulsa Oregon Eugene Medford Portland Salem Pennsylvania Harrisburg Philadelphia Pittsburgh Scranton Rhode Island Providence CDH1 HDD2 Location South Carolina Charleston Columbia South Dakota Sioux Falls Tennessee Chattanooga Knoxville Memphis Texas Amarillo Austin Brownsville Corpus Chris Dallas-Ft.base 65 degrees Fahrenheit Page 90 Chapter 5—Worksheet for Determining Optimal Foundation Insulation .

Builder’s Foundation Handbook Page 91 .281 0.78* * Costs include $6.405 0.71 14.377 0.5 18.215 0.56 0.24 C: Concrete Walls with Interior Insulation (Costs include sheetrock on interior wall) INTERIOR: FULL WALL 8 FT INTERIOR WITH DRYWALL 6 8 11 19 5.394 0.56 16.8 13.2 7.54 7.7 18 0.116 8.08/ft for drywall covering that is not necessarily required.7 7.55 18.01 8.224 0.52* 9.5 27.87 12.091 0.76 6.Table 5-2: Insulation R-Values and Costs for Conditioned Basements (page 1 of 4) A: Concrete or Masonry Foundation Walls with Exterior Insulation NOMINAL R-VALUE 4 5 8 10 12 15 EFFECTIVE R-VALUE 5 6 9 11 13 16 INSTALLATION COST ($ PER LF) 4.23 6.248 0.72 5.52 8.44 5.265 0.335 0.312 0.085 0.308 12.277 0.47 CONFIGURATION EXTERIOR: HALF WALL DESCRIPTION 4 FT EXTERIOR U-DELTA 0.4 11.83 10.301 0.210 0.229 0.313 6.32 D: Pressure-Treated Wood Foundation Walls WOOD: FULL WALL 8 FT WOOD 11 13 19 30 11.36 12.32 13.19* 9.87* 15.32 6.103 0.77 10.307 4.48 10.279 0.9 0.418 EXTERIOR: FULL WALL 8 FT EXTERIOR 4 5 8 10 12 15 20 5 6 9 11 13 16 21 0.26 18.241 0.290 0.35 B: Concrete Walls with Interior Insulation (Costs do not include interior finish material) INTERIOR: FULL WALL 8 FT INTERIOR WITHOUT DRYWALL 6 8 11 19 5.04 4.

04 4.72 5.241 0.86 * Costs include $6.Table 5-2: Insulation R-Values and Costs for Unconditioned Basements (page 2 of 4) A: Concrete or Masonry Foundation Walls with Exterior Insulation NOMINAL R-VALUE 4 5 8 10 12 15 EFFECTIVE R-VALUE 5 6 9 11 13 16 INSTALLATION COST ($ PER LF) 4.364 8.126 0.326 0.116 0.144 0.186 0.7 7.8 13.138 0.54 7.3 0.32 D: Pressure-Treated Wood Foundation Walls WOOD: FULL WALL 8 FT WOOD 11 13 19 30 11.191 4.19* 9.176 0. COST ($ PER SF) 0.168 0.47 CONFIGURATION EXTERIOR: HALF WALL DESCRIPTION 4 FT EXTERIOR U-DELTA 0.4 11.34 0.52 0.36 12.87* 15.56 0.24 C: Concrete Walls with Interior Insulation (Costs include sheetrock on interior wall) INTERIOR: FULL WALL 8 FT INTERIOR WITH DRYWALL 6 8 11 19 5.71 14.126 INST.129 0.5 18.302 0.23 6.52 8.87 12.7 18 0.292 0.32 6.112 0.41 0.35 B: Concrete Walls with Interior Insulation (Costs do not include interior finish material) INTERIOR: FULL WALL 8 FT INTERIOR WITHOUT DRYWALL 6 8 11 19 5.192 12.166 0.9 0.314 EXTERIOR: FULL WALL 8 FT EXTERIOR 4 5 8 10 12 15 20 5 6 9 11 13 16 21 0. Page 92 Chapter 5—Worksheet for Determining Optimal Foundation Insulation .2 7.096 0.221 0.5 27.55 18.56 16.08/ft for drywall covering that is not necessarily required.78* E: Concrete or Masonry Foundation Walls with Ceiling Insulation CEILING WOOD CEILING 11 13 19 30 13 14 19 27.44 5.01 8.119 0.197 6.315 0.48 10.169 0.156 0.52* 9.346 0.26 18.77 10.277 0.32 13.76 6.83 10.092 0.

48** 1.52 0.379 0.12 1.363 0.397 1.307 0.92 2.Concrete or Masonry Foundation Walls with Exterior Insulation NOMINAL R-VALUE 5 10 EFFECTIVE R-VALUE 6 11 INSTALLATION COST ($ PER LF) 2.184 1.9 0.76** 2.97 CONFIGURATION EXTERIOR VERTICAL DESCRIPTION 2 FT EXTERIOR U-DELTA 0.00 2.86 ** Costs include fire protective covering on the interior face.137 0.156 0.32** D: Vented Crawl Space .3 0.Pressure-Treated Wood Foundation Walls WITHIN WOOD WALL 2 FT WOOD 11 13 19 30 11.Table 5-2: Insulation R-Values and Costs for Crawl Spaces (page 3 of 4) A: Unvented Crawl Space .363 B: Unvented Crawl Space .Concrete or Masonry Foundation Walls with Ceiling Insulation CEILING WOOD CEILING 11 13 19 30 13 14 19 27.8 13.15 2.307 0.Concrete or Masonry Foundation Walls with Interior Insulation INTERIOR VERTICAL 2 FT INTERIOR 5 10 11 13 19 6 11 12 14 20 0.57 C: Unvented Crawl Space .32** 1.131 0. Builder’s Foundation Handbook Page 93 . COST ($ PER SF) 0.145 0.13 2.369 0.41 0.153 0.172 INST.5 18.34 0.169 0.5 27.

52 D: Concrete Foundation Walls with Exterior Insulation Extending Outward Horizontally EXTERIOR HORIZONTAL 2 FT HORIZONTAL EXTERIOR 4 FT HORIZONTAL EXTERIOR 5 10 5 10 6 11 6 11 0.70 6.347 0.347 0.386 0.40 6.307 0.386 0.80 2.363 0.65 2.58 CONFIGURATION EXTERIOR VERTICAL: 2ft DESCRIPTION 2 FT EXTERIOR VERTICAL U-DELTA 0.68 B: Concrete or Masonry Foundation Walls with Interior Insulation Placed Vertically INTERIOR VERTICAL 2 FT INTERIOR VERTICAL/R-5 GAP 2 FT INTERIOR VERTICAL/R-5 GAP 5 10 5 10 15 20 6 11 6 11 16 21 0.363 0.363 0.50 4.30 2.02 4.53 7.307 0.307 0.59 4.363 0.23 8.307 0.400 1.70 4.284 0.284 0.66 7.41 5.400 3.369 0.69 4.06 C: Concrete Walls with Interior Insulation Placed Horizontally Under Slab Perimeter INTERIOR HORIZONTAL 2 FT HORIZONTAL INTERIOR/R-5 GAP 4 FT HORIZONTAL INTERIOR/R-5 GAP 5 10 5 10 6 11 6 11 0.Table 5-2: Insulation R-Values and Costs for Slab-on-Grade Foundations (page 4 of 4) A: Concrete or Masonry Foundation Wall with Exterior Insulation Placed Vertically NOMINAL R-VALUE 4 5 8 10 11 14 EFFECTIVE R-VALUE 5 6 9 11 12 15 INSTALLATION COST ($ PER LF) 2.25 2.53 4.307 0.374 0.307 0.04 2.90 Page 94 Chapter 5—Worksheet for Determining Optimal Foundation Insulation .363 0.69 9.363 3.307 0.13 3.307 0.19 2.363 1.64 3.363 0.53 5.383 EXTERIOR VERTICAL: 4ft 4 FT EXTERIOR VERTICAL 4 5 8 10 12 15 20 5 6 9 11 13 16 21 0.

81 CLIMATE LESS THAN 2500 HDD HLFI -4.14049 -0.11622 0.39093 -6.00946 0 0.26 19.30 24.01571 0.10 33.06 186.13994 -6.01154 0.56965 4.42 23.38 18.14849 -3.01866 HLFS 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Builder’s Foundation Handbook Page 95 .02758 0.63157 -16.06 19.34 14.82326 -17.33494 2.13994 -6.00996 0.54462 21.435 80.93757 0.01519 0.40399 -4.40 155.77 19.34 24.07 59.44417 HLFS 0.98 25.34 17.01170 0.00990 0.05430 0.21022 -6.95460 -5.07 25.00861 0.Table 5-3: Heating Load Factor Coefficients (HLFI and HLFS) FOUNDATION SYSTEM MORE THAN 2500 HDD HLFI Slab 2 ft vertical exterior 2 ft vertical interior/R-5 gap 2 ft horizontal interior/R-5 gap 2 ft horizontal exterior 4 ft horizontal exterior 4 ft fdn exterior 4 ft fdn interior/R-5 gap 4 ft horizontal interior/R-5 gap Unvented Crawl Space 2 ft exterior 2 ft interior 2 ft wood Vented Crawl Space ceiling Deep Basement (Conditioned) 4 ft exterior 8 ft exterior or 8 ft interior 8 ft wood Deep Basement (Unconditioned) 4 ft exterior 8 ft exterior or 8 ft interior 8 ft wood ceiling 19.40 21.00901 0.53665 -24.435 -5.20 25.01225 0.01272 0.01571 0.01381 0.09895 0.08104 -6.07627 -1.

00005 -0.68317 -6.09706 -0.00008 -0.91748 -6.00003 0.53760 -0.00017 0.93520 -0.00015 0.00003 -0.00001 -0.78118 -1.98257 -8.89340 -2.00019 0.02223 -3.00022 0.00010 1.00024 0.00004 0.97537 1.00033 0.81314 -1.16409 -1.00007 -0.37578 -2.00007 -1.02787 0.00005 -0.00007 0.00033 0.84203 0.25473 0.00021 -3.45376 -3.00010 0.00005 0.04576 -6. interior/R-5 gap 4 ft vertical exterior 4 ft vertical interior/R-5 gap 4 ft horiz.23231 -2.00003 0.10899 -8.07080 -1.73889 4.000003 0.00003 -1.00021 0.20910 -0.00005 0.00005 0.00006 0.93544 -1.00002 -3.73835 -1.33245 1.43021 -5.07055 0.43093 -2. interior/R-5 gap Unvented Crawl Space 2 ft exterior 2 ft interior 2 ft wood Vented Crawl Space ceiling Deep Basement (Conditioned) 4 ft exterior 8 ft exterior or interior 8 ft wood Deep Basement (Unconditioned) 4 ft exterior 8 ft exterior or interior 8 ft wood ceiling MORE THAN 30000 CDH CLFI CLFS -1.58028 -1.00005 Page 96 Chapter 5—Worksheet for Determining Optimal Foundation Insulation .92333 -1.00002 -0.00016 0.00015 0.00018 -0.89761 -2.70912 -1.34275 -0.64161 -3.45221 -10.78118 -3.42995 -0.32060 -1.50404 -1.31361 -0.51623 4.16166 0.00003 -0.92914 0.25057 0.00006 -0.25373 -2.00012 0.00017 0.00010 0.00005 0.00005 0.00058 0.78237 0.00025 -3.18708 -2.00020 0.00004 0.00020 0.00009 2.00006 0.31361 -1.11852 0.Table 5-4: Cooling Load Factor Coefficients (CLFI and CLFS) FOUNDATION SYSTEM CLIMATE MORE THAN 15000 CDH AND LESS THAN 30000 CDH CLFI CLFS LESS THAN 15000 CDH CLFI CLFS Slab 2 ft vertical exterior 2 ft vertical interior/R-5 gap 2 ft horiz.00007 0.00016 0.00008 0.23231 1.

50 0.25 1.5 4.0 1.0 1.0 1.25 1.25 1.75 12.0 1.2 1.6 1.0 2. Does not include duct losses Builder’s Foundation Handbook Page 97 .4 RBASE RSOIL Table 5-6: Heating and Cooling Equipment Seasonal Efficiencies1 LOW HEEF gas furnace oil furnace heat pump (HSCOP) electric furnace electric baseboard CEEF heat pump (SEER) air conditioner (SEER) MEDIUM HIGH VERY HIGH 0.0 1.0 2.9 1.90 2.5 1.0 1.0 1.80 0.25 1.Table 5-5: Initial Effective R-values for Uninsulated Foundation System and Adjacent Soil FOUNDATION SYSTEM Slab 2 ft vertical exterior 2 ft vertical interior/R-5 gap 2 ft horizontal interior/R-5 gap 2 ft horizontal exterior 4 ft horizontal exterior 4 ft vertical exterior 4 ft vertical interior/R-5 gap 4 ft horizontal interior/R-5 gap Unvented Crawl Space 2 ft exterior 2 ft interior 2 ft wood Vented Crawl Space ceiling Deep Basement (Conditioned) 4 ft exterior 8 ft exterior or 8 ft interior 8 ft wood Deep Basement (Unconditioned) 4 ft exterior 8 ft exterior or 8 ft interior 8 ft wood ceiling 1.25 10.0 10.0 2.90 0.25 1.5 1.0 0.8 1.0 1.0 0.0 7.1 1.0 1.0 11.7 3.25 6.65 0.2 0 1.8 4.65 1.0 1.0 1.50 1.25 1.0 1.75 8.25 1.3 1.8 1.0 1.0 1.25 1.0 0.25 1.25 2.0 1.5 4.0 8.1 0 1.0 1.80 2.

02 13.64 12.91 13.28 11. Page 98 Chapter 5—Worksheet for Determining Optimal Foundation Insulation .Table 5-7: Scalar Ratios for Various Economic Criteria SCALAR RATIO2 MORTGAGE (PERCENT) 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 FUEL ESCALATION3 (PERCENT) 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 2 YR CROSS OVER 13.73 13.18 12.51 9.23 15.69 12.41 9.16 20.53 12.11 12.00 9.83 15.37 13.52 10.76 11.78 13.46 14.75 12.07 10. Scalar ratio represents the maximum number of years allowed to have the energy savings resulting from the insulation pay for financing the first cost of installing the insulation.27 13. Based on 10% real after tax discount rate 2.41 12.08 14.05 16.44 10.56 16.51 13.14 11.62 15.51 11. This includes inflation.68 30 YR LIFE CYCLE1 11.78 14.28 12.22 18.84 14.58 22.25 13.06 13.03 10.84 12.99 19.14 14.51 13.17 16.87 20 YR LIFE CYCLE1 10.84 11.72 11.14 12.12 1.48 19.95 12. 3.50 11.31 14.05 14.58 14.70 17.88 11.72 10.39 12.16 15.29 13.

These savings are based on are assumed to be in a conditioned space. a duct efficiency value of 0. and 15. Worksheets 1 through 3 are filled out in order to compare the cost-effectiveness of three insulation configuration alternatives.68. the cost Other key assumptions are that you plan on of insulating has been divided by annual installing a high-efficiency heat pump with a savings to show the simple payback for the COP of 2. If you add lines 18 and 34 for case 2 ($1. The energy savings account for exterior of the concrete masonry wall in changes in both heating and cooling loads. 10. For each option.S. 11 percent with fuel escalation (including Builder’s Foundation Handbook Page 99 . you see the simple payback for this case is 7.87). Similar customized tables can be generated Your economic criteria are a mortgage rate of using the worksheets to fit local conditions.28) is the optimum case. The ducts investment. The largest value ($15. First. case 3 = $13.28. R-10 insulation. inflation) of 5 percent per year and assuming 30-year life cycle cost analysis. The optional worksheets 2 and 3 are also filled out for this example. various insulation placements.1. in Knoxville.5. contact with the surrounding soil. This is followed by a series of tables that illustrate how the results from the worksheet calculations can be organized to create customized information for making foundation insulation decisions. Working through Worksheet 1 leaves line 38 with the cost savings due to insulating for each case (expressed in dollars per linear foot): case 1 = $14.2 and a SEER of 10. You would like to annual savings due to insulating are given determine the optimum amount of for cities in five representative U. Extruded These tables allow users to compare the polystyrene is available in your local building differences in performance among these materials yard with R-values of 5. climate foundation insulation to install on the zones.44) and then divide this sum into line 4 ($10.25. but medium fuel costs as shown in Table 2-3. case 2 = $15. SAMPLE TABLES GENERATED FROM THE WORKSHEETS THE WORKSHEET EXAMPLES Tables 5-8 through 5-11 show annual energy cost savings for a complete set of You are building a conditioned basement foundation configurations.9 is assumed. Tennessee.2 Examples of How to Use the Worksheet This section contains a set of examples indicating how to use the worksheets described in section 5.5 years. Also.46.

Enter the economic scalar ratio from Table 5-7 20.9 = _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ 17.2 = _____________ 10. Enter nominal R-value from Table 5-2 4. Divide line 12 by 1. Enter heating degree days (HDD) from Table 5-1 _____________ _____________ _____________ STEP C: DETERMINE HEATING LOAD SAVINGS 6. Multiply line 18 by line 19 [units: $/lin ft or sq ft]* (NOTE: If cooling energy savings are not to be included in the calculation. Enter foundation type (basement. Fuel oil: D. Propane: X X X X _____________ 293 = _____________ 10 = _____________ 7. If the configuration utilizes ceiling insulation then all units are expressed per square foot.) * If the configuration utilizes perimeter insulation then all units are expressed per lineal foot.Worksheet 1: Selection of Optimal Foundation Insulation (Page 1 of 2)—Example CASE 1 STEP A: IDENTIFY FOUNDATION CHARACTERISTICS 1. Enter UDELTA from Table 5-2 (or Worksheet 3) 11. Divide line 13 (heating load savings) by line 15 A. Multiply line 9 by line 10 12. Enter heating energy price rate and multiply by conversion factor: 18.9 (duct efficiency) _____________ (see instructions for alternative duct efficiency numbers) 16. Natural gas: __________$ per therm __________$ per gallon __________$ per gallon C. Enter HLFI from Table 5-3 7.000. Enter insulation configuration from Table 5-2 3. Enter HLFS from Table 5-3 8. go directly to STEP H. crawl space. Enter installation cost from Table 5-2 or use Worksheet 2 [units: $/lin ft or $/sq ft]* _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ ____________ CASE 2 CASE 3 STEP B: DETERMINE HEATING CLIMATE 5.000 [units: MBtu/lin ft or sq ft]* _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ STEP D: DETERMINE HEATING ENERGY DOLLAR SAVINGS 14. Multiply line 11 by line 5 (HDD) 13. Add lines 6 and 8 [units: Btu/(HDD x UDELTA)] 10. Multiply line 16 by line 17 19. Enter heating system efficiency from Table 5-6 (HEEF) _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ 15. Multiply line 14 by 0. or slab) 2. Page 100 Chapter 5—Worksheet for Determining Optimal Foundation Insulation . Electricity: __________$ per kWh B. Multiply line 7 (HLFS) by line 5 (HDD) 9.

Add lines 22 and 24 [units: Btu/(CDH x UDELTA)] 26. Enter CLFI from Table 5-4 23. Subtract line 4 (costs) from line 37 (savings) [units: $/lin ft or sq ft]* _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ * If the configuration utilizes perimeter insulation then all units are expressed per lineal foot.9 (duct efficiency) 32. Add line 20 (heating) and line 36 (cooling) 38. Enter UDELTA from line 10 ( Table 5-2 or Worksheet 3) 27. Enter cooling energy electric rate (i. Multiply line 30 by 0. Multiply line 26 (UDELTA) by line 25 (CLF) 28.e. Divide line 28 by 1. $ 0. Multiply line 32 by line 33 35. Multiply line 34 by line 35 [units: $/lin ft or sq ft]* _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ STEP H: DETERMINE NET DOLLAR SAVINGS 37.Worksheet 1: Selection of Optimal Foundation Insulation (Page 2 of 2)—Example CASE 1 CASE 2 CASE 3 STEP E: DETERMINE COOLING CLIMATE 21. Enter CLFS from Table 5-4 24. Enter the economic scalar ratio from Table 5-7 36. Divide line 29 (cooling load savings) by line 31 33. Enter cooling system efficiency from Table 5-6 (CEEF) 31. Multiply line 27 by line 21 (CDH) 29. Builder’s Foundation Handbook Page 101 .078 per kWh) 34. Multiply line 23 (CLFS) by line 21 (CDH) 25. If the configuration utilizes ceiling insulation then all units are expressed per square foot.000 [units: KBtu/lin ft or sq ft]* _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ ____________ STEP G: DETERMINE COOLING ENERGY DOLLAR SAVINGS 30. Enter cooling degree hours (CDH) from Table 5-1 _____________ _____________ _____________ STEP F: DETERMINE COOLING LOAD SAVINGS 22..

Enter the total material cost of insulation 2. Multiply line 11 by the general contractor markup (example: 1. Divide line 12 by the foundation perimeter length in feet _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ Page 102 Chapter 5—Worksheet for Determining Optimal Foundation Insulation . Enter installation cost for insulation 7. Enter the cost of protective covering or required flame spread protection 4. Enter the total material cost of fasteners 3. and 8 to determine total labor cost _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ STEP C: DETERMINE TOTAL INSTALLED COST 10. 7. Add lines 1. Enter installation cost for any protective covering 9.3) 12. and 3 to determine the total material cost STEP B: DETERMINE LABOR COST 5. 6. Enter installation cost for any framing or furring 8.Worksheet 2: Optional Method for Estimating Insulation Installation Cost—Example CASE 1 _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ CASE 2 _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ CASE 3 _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ STEP A: DETERMINE MATERIAL COST 1. Add lines 5. Add lines 4 and 9 11. 2. Enter site preparation cost 6. Multiply line 10 by the subcontractor markup (example: 1.3) 13.

. Enter the appropriate RBASE from Table 5-5 5. Divide 1 by line 3 6. Enter the fraction of the total area covered by each component a. Subtract line 12 from line 10 [units: Btu/OF x ft2 x h] _____________ _____________ _____________ Builder’s Foundation Handbook Page 103 . Enter RSOIL from Table 5-5 9. Component 4 e. Component 3 d. Divide 1 by line 9 [units: Btu/ F x ft x h] O 2 _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ STEP D: DETERMINE THE U-VALUE OF INSULATED CASE (UTOTAL) 11. Line 1a divided by R-value for component 1 b. Line 1e divided by R-value for component 5 3. Line 1d divided by R-value for component 4 e. Component 2 (example: framing) c. Add line 6 (REFF) and line 8 (RSOIL) 12. Line 1c divided by R-value for component 3 d. Add lines 7 and 8 10.Worksheet 3: Optional Method for Determining UDELTA —Example CASE 1 CASE 2 CASE 3 STEP A: CALCULATE THE U-VALUE OF INSULATION ASSEMBLY 1.) _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ STEP B: CALCULATE THE EFFECTIVE R-VALUE (REFF) 4. Enter RBASE from Table 5-5 8. Add lines 4 and 5 to determine REFF _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ STEP C: DETERMINE THE U-VALUE OF UNINSULATED CASE (UBASE) 7.. Component 5 _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ 2. Line 1b divided by R-value for component 2 c. Add the results of line 2 to determine the overall U-value (2a + 2b + 2c + . Component 1 (example: insulation) b. Divide the fractional values in line 1 by the corresponding R-values a. Divide 1 by line 11 [units: Btu/ F x ft x h] O 2 _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ STEP E: DETERMINE U-VALUE DIFFERENCE (UDELTA) 13.

3) (6.32 (6.90 (3.8) 1.44 3.3) 0.5) (3.82 (5.6) 1.1) 0.24 0.4) (6.3) 0.0) (6.91 1.1) D: Pressure-Treated Wood Foundation Walls WOOD: FULL WALL 8 FT: R-11 BATT 8 FT: R-19 BATT 8 FT: R-30 BATT 2.09 2.37 (27.3) (5.4) (4.04 2.79 2.8) (4.30 (44.0) 1.4) (7.0) (9.33 (19.10 1.2) 1.02 2.1) 0.11 1.19 1.74 1.06 2.7) (5.3) 2.27 (26.3) (2.42 1.6) 2.2) 0.15 (25.00 2.9) (9.9) 0.0) 0.Table 5-8: Energy Cost Savings and Simple Paybacks for Conditioned Basements Table 2-1: Installation Costs and Energy Cost Savings for Fully-Conditioned Deep Basements A: Concrete or Masonry Foundation Walls with Exterior Insulation INSTALL.9) (6.2) 0.35 0.23 (2.6) C: Concrete or Masonry Foundation Walls with Interior Insulation (Costs include sheetrock on interior wall) INTERIOR: FULL WALL 8 FT: R-6 RIGID 8 FT: R-8 RIGID 8 FT: R-11 BATT 8 FT: R-19 BATT 12.24 2.72 1.76 6.0) 6-8000 HDD 8-10000 HDD (CHICAGO) (MPLS) 1.6) (3.7) (3.52 1.72 2.4) 1.55 1.14 (10.9) 0.6) 0.06 (3.7) (8.94 1.49 0.01 10.55 (3.1) (4.32 1.84 (3.2) (4.29 2.24 (7.12 1.57 2.93 (2.33 (33.46 1.48 10.56 16.79 9.65 (14.32 0.70 0.20 1.2) 1.4) B: Concrete or Masonry Foundation Walls with Interior Insulation (Costs do not include interior finish material) INTERIOR: FULL WALL 8 FT: R-6 RIGID 8 FT: R-8 RIGID 8 FT: R-11 BATT 8 FT: R-19 BATT 4.40 1.9) (5.4) (4.8) (3.64 1.2) 0.37 (49.7) 0.53 2.1) 1.7) Energy cost savings in this table are based on medium fuel prices shown in Table 2-3.47 (11.6) 1.0) (5.78 0.42 (10.48 (12.2) (7.81 (3.27 (17.1) 1.16 2. COST ($ PER LF) ANNUAL ENERGY COST SAVINGS IN $ PER LINEAL FOOT (SIMPLE PAYBACK SHOWN IN PARENTHESES) 0-2000 HDD 2-4000 HDD 4-6000 HDD (LOS ANG) (FT WORTH) (KAN CITY) 0.4) (8. Page 104 Chapter 5—Worksheet for Determining Optimal Foundation Insulation .32 13.3) (6.2) (4.58 (5.36 12.07 (4.8) (3.5) 0.67 0.2) 2.2) (7.55 18.37 (44.54 EXTERIOR: FULL WALL 8 FT: R-5 RIGID 8 FT: R-10 RIGID 8 FT: R-15 RIGID 8 FT: R-20 RIGID 7.4) CONFIGURATION DESCRIPTION EXTERIOR: HALF WALL 4 FT: R-5 RIGID 4 FT: R-10 RIGID 4.83 2.51 2.6) (7.2) (8.5) 0.98 1.3) 1.70 1.72 1.65 2.6) 0.87 14.5) 0.8) 1.2) (5.2) 1.3) (3.6) (2.0) 0.72 5.47 (4.6) (4.28 (44.0) 0.5) 1.8) (4.9) (7.12 (20.21 (11.2) (7.91 (8.82 (2.84 1.2) (3.17 (57.92 (5.33 1.4) (8.7) 1.35 (2.91 (10.0) 1.5) 1.2) 0.44 6.33 (38.35 (41.0) (6.29 (19.25 (26.25 (4.67 1.15 2.8) (5.22 (20.32 (4.35 (9.

0) 0.6) 0.05 (291) 0.0) 0.72 (20.09 0.8) 0.8) 0.0) 0.1) CONFIGURATION DESCRIPTION EXTERIOR: HALF WALL 4 FT: R-5 RIGID 4 FT: R-10 RIGID 4.01 (34.48 10.9) 0.04 0.01 (34.?? () 0.13 (36.79 9.76 (21.6) 0.53 (30.54 (34.13 (53.32 (34.05 (308) (344) (251) 0.14 (46.45 (24.8) B: Concrete or Masonry Foundation Walls with Interior Insulation (Costs do not include interior finish material) INTERIOR: FULL WALL 8 FT: R-6 RIGID 8 FT: R-8 RIGID 8 FT: R-11 BATT 8 FT: R-19 BATT 4.14 (89.36 (18.45 (21.9) (9.21 (46.14 0.4) 0.05 (194) 0.2) 0.66 (9.5) C: Concrete or Masonry Foundation Walls with Interior Insulation (Costs include sheetrock on interior wall) INTERIOR: FULL WALL 8 FT: R-6 RIGID 8 FT: R-8 RIGID 8 FT: R-11 BATT 8 FT: R-19 BATT 12.14 (77.5) 0.32 0.31 0.32 13.04 (148) (163) 0.7) 0.41 (32.34 0.56 16.1) 0.15 (104) (122) 0.65 (16.3) 0.05 (130) 0.6) 0.6) 0.28 (23.1) 0.06 0.39 (7.36 12.41 (10.40 (14.01 10.05 (326) D: Pressure-Treated Wood Foundation Walls WOOD: FULL WALL 8 FT: R-11 BATT 8 FT: R-19 BATT 8 FT: R-30 BATT 2.8) 0.07 0.76 (13.01 (52.6) 0.4) 6-8000 HDD 8-10000 HDD (CHICAGO) (MPLS) 0.37 (44.15 (3.3) 0.7) 0. COST ($ PER LF) ANNUAL ENERGY COST SAVINGS IN $ PER LINEAL FOOT (SIMPLE PAYBACK SHOWN IN PARENTHESES) 0-2000 HDD 2-4000 HDD 4-6000 HDD (LOS ANG) (FT WORTH) (KAN CITY) 0.2) 0.13 (103) 0.3) 0.04 (94.70 0.33 (38.01 (52.51 (28.13 (44.1) 0.6) 0.05 (217) 0.3) 0.3) Energy cost savings in this table are based on medium fuel prices shown in Table 2-3.3) 0.2) 0. COST ($ PER SF) 0.24 0.16 (15.1) 0.32 (20.04 (118) 0.10 0.7) 0.7) 0. Builder’s Foundation Handbook Page 105 .0) 0.Table 5-9: Energy Cost Savings and Simple Paybacks for Unconditioned Basements A: Concrete or Masonry Foundation Walls with Exterior Insulation INSTALL.1) 0.4) 0.1) 0.23 (10.8) 0.13 (34.0) 0.04 0.05 (367) 0.72 5.55 18.04 (144) 0.38 (32.4) (8.25 (28.7) 0.0) 0.03 (81.0) 0.10 (5.8) 0.46 (14.7) 0.16 (40.1) 0.7) (7.0) 0.4) 0.23 (19.00 0.15 (68.0) 0.57 (10.3) 0.54 EXTERIOR: FULL WALL 8 FT: R-5 RIGID 8 FT: R-10 RIGID 8 FT: R-15 RIGID 8 FT: R-20 RIGID 7.6) 0.8) 0.6) E: Concrete or Masonry Foundation Walls with Ceiling Insulation CEILING R-11 BATT R-19 BATT R-30 BATT INST.26 (47.67 (18.01 (86.04 (8.3) 0.27 (14.54 (22.2) (5.3) 0.36 (11.50 (13.51 (13.0) 0.13 (98.29 (46.30 (14.58 (23.35 (41.03 0.53 (19.05 (10.9) 0.3) 0.18 (21.47 (26.2) 0.77 (23.86 ANNUAL ENERGY COST SAVINGS IN $ PER SQUARE FOOT (SIMPLE PAYBACK SHOWN IN PARENTHESES) 0.5) 0.52 0.7) 0.4) 0.37 (27.44 3.87 14.37 (49.3) 0.05 (205) 0.15 (109) 0.04 (175) 0.35 0.44 6.8) (5.4) 0.76 6.25 (18.7) 0.1) 0.06 (14.36 (13.28 (20.7) 0.05 (75.32 (30.52 (9.8) 0.2) 0.6) 0.04 (243) 0.9) 0.

04 (53.14 (30.38 0.6) 0. Page 106 Chapter 5—Worksheet for Determining Optimal Foundation Insulation .36 0.41 (10. COST ($ PER LF) ANNUAL ENERGY COST SAVINGS IN $ PER LINEAL FOOT (SIMPLE PAYBACK SHOWN IN PARENTHESES) 0-2000 HDD (LOS ANG) 0.18 0.32 1.05 (10.30 0.53 0.2) 0.12 0.2) 0.8) (2.3) 2-4000 HDD 4-6000 HDD (FT WORTH) (KAN CITY) 0.05 (127) 0.0) 0.0) 0.5) 0.8) 0.6) (6.1) 0.1) 0.13 (8.00 2.04 (50.7) 0.27 0.06 (22.37 (6.12 (11.2) 0.3) C: Unvented Crawl Space .39 0.8) (6.7) 0.Pressure-Treated Wood Foundation Walls WITHIN WOOD WALL 2 FT: R-11 BATT 2 FT: R-19 BATT 1.3) 0.23 0.Concrete or Masonry Foundation Walls with Interior Insulation INTERIOR VERTICAL 2 FT: R-5 RIGID 2 FT: R-10 RIGID 1.8) 0.7) 0.5) 0.4) D: Vented Crawl Space .0) 0.17 0.10 0.32 0.0) 0.4) (4.25 0.42 4.46 (3.57 (4.3) 0.1) (6.8) 0.7) (8.07 (12.05 (17.1) INTERIOR VERTICAL AND HORIZONTAL 2 FT/2 FT: R-5 RIGID 2 FT/4 FT: R-5 RIGID 2 FT/2 FT: R-10 RIGID 2 FT/4 FT: R-10 RIGID 2.6) (7.30 (14.35 (8.Table 5-10: Energy Cost Savings and Simple Paybacks for Crawl Space Foundations A: Unvented Crawl Space .9) (4.15 2.47 (5.15 (14.06 0.28 3.50 0.5) 0.35 (3.4) 0.6) 0.8) 0.52 0.12 0.Concrete or Masonry Foundation Walls with Exterior Insulation INSTALL.10 (13.19 (2.5) 0.3) (6.04 (74.86 0.6) 0.8) (8.15 (11.13 (17.0) (9.12 (53.30 0.11 (31.12 (14.35 (6.25 (1.28 (3.0) 0.3) Energy cost savings in this table are based on medium fuel prices shown in Table 2-3.0) 0.06 (29.06 (57.8) 0.15 (13.7) (8.Concrete or Masonry Foundation Walls with Ceiling Insulation CEILING R-11 BATT R-19 BATT R-30 BATT INST.43 (14.05 (45.02 (88.0) 0.02 (66.5) (7.0) 0.9) 6-8000 HDD 8-10000 HDD (CHICAGO) (MPLS) 0.2) (9.0) (4.7) 0.4) (9.6) 0.34 (18.76 0.04 (28.05 (84.15 0.3) 0.3) (2.13 (3.3) CONFIGURATION DESCRIPTION EXTERIOR VERTICAL 2 FT: R-5 RIGID 2 FT: R-10 RIGID 2.18 (16.5) 0.37 0. COST ($ PER SF) 0.1) 0.3) 0.04 ANNUAL ENERGY COST SAVINGS IN $ PER SQUARE FOOT (SIMPLE PAYBACK SHOWN IN PARENTHESES) (8.24 6.30 (8.4) 0.06 (5.34 0.97 B: Unvented Crawl Space .3) (3.4) 0.21 (7.19 0.62 (10.

03 (55.40 0.68 (14.52 (11.49 0.4) 0.3) (9.9) 0.03 0.0) 0.3) 0.29 (7.2) 0.5) 0.2) 0.68 ANNUAL ENERGY COST SAVINGS IN $ PER LINEAL FOOT (SIMPLE PAYBACK SHOWN IN PARENTHESES) 0-2000 HDD (LOS ANG) 0.9) 0.0) C: Concrete or Masonry Foundation Walls with Interior Insulation Placed Horizontally Under Slab Perimeter INTERIOR HORIZONTAL 2 FT WIDE: R-5 2 FT WIDE: R-10 4 FT WIDE: R-5 4 FT WIDE: R-10 1.4) 0.53 5.30 0.43 0.8) (7.56 (4.12 (23.23 8.13 (16.47 (7.40 0.3) 0.52 (8.60 0.21 (46.1) 0.39 (11.43 (6.3) 0.03 (93.41 0.0) 0.1) (6.5) 0.4) 0.80 2.26 (21.4) (8.03 (73.48 (16.5) Energy cost savings in this table are based on medium fuel prices shown in Table 2-3.70 7.1) 0.35 0.59 4.04 0.40 6.5) (8.5) 0.19 (30.3) 0.11 (15.6) 0.0) 0.27 (16.5) 0.34 (13.2) 0.35 (10.3) (9.70 4.8) 6-8000 HDD 8-10000 HDD (CHICAGO) (MPLS) 0.3) 0.5) 0.03 (89.4) (5.43 7.7) 0.4) (7.2) (9. COST ($ PER LF) 2.56 (13.04 0.39 0.2) (7.47 (4.03 (151) 0.1) 0.12 (22.16 (21.56 0.06 0.8) 0.4) 0.36 0.50 3.7) (8.04 0.1) (5.4) 0.3) 0.04 (117) (118) (142) (192) (242) 2-4000 HDD 4-6000 HDD (FT WORTH) (KAN CITY) 0.44 0.41 (15.12 (37.53 (10.03 0.17 (36.03 0.6) (7.19 2. Builder’s Foundation Handbook Page 107 .0) 0.16 (27.60 (10.2) 0.9) 0.63 (12.12 (10.53 5.1) 0.6) 0.03 0.4) (7.26 0.7) 0.9) 0.65 (11.28 (12.58 (6.8) 0.69 4.51 (6.7) 0.48 0.46 (16.0) 0.30 2.4) 0.2) B: Concrete or Masonry Foundation Walls with Interior Insulation Placed Vertically INTERIOR VERTICAL 2 FT DEEP: R-5 2 FT DEEP: R-10 4 FT DEEP: R-5 4 FT DEEP: R-10 4 FT DEEP: R-15 4 FT DEEP: R-20 1.57 (3.6) 0.03 (75.52 0.31 (6.14 (18.Table 5-11: Energy Cost Savings and Simple Paybacks for Slab-on-Grade Foundations A: Concrete or Masonry Foundation Wall with Exterior Insulation Placed Vertically INSTALL.36 0.43 (13.8) 0.27 0.3) (7.49 0.5) 0.7) (9.62 (13.32 0.33 (4.2) (6.65 2.16 (22.03 (43.7) 0.32 0.56 (14.48 (11.5) (9.3) 0.50 (12.34 (10.3) 0.8) 0.03 (118) (190) (148) (263) 0.25 (31.4) 0.6) 0.48 (20.69 9.04 (110) (156) (201) 0.03 0.0) 0.60 (5.5) (8.47 0.38 0.5) 0.52 (15.25 3.42 (19.17 (47.20 (38.03 (86.90 0.47 (9.5) 0.6) 0.47 (5.40 0.29 0.8) (6.13 (17.7) 0.59 (16.5) (7.8) 0.04 0.1) 0.1) (6.4) (5.3) D: Concrete or Masonry Foundation Walls with Exterior Insulation Extending Outward Horizontally EXTERIOR HORIZONTAL 2 FT WIDE: R-5 2 FT WIDE: R-10 4 FT WIDE: R-5 4 FT WIDE: R-10 3.7) 0.5) CONFIGURATION DESCRIPTION EXTERIOR VERTICAL 2 FT DEEP: R-5 2 FT DEEP: R-10 4 FT DEEP: R-5 4 FT DEEP: R-10 4 FT DEEP: R-15 4 FT DEEP: R-20 0.

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Investigation of Radon Entry and Effectiveness of Mitigation Measures in Seven Houses in New Jersey. Jones. Nazaroff. 1989. January. D. Offices of Air and Radiation and Research an Development. Refrigerating. Construction of Slabs on Grade. ASHRAE Transactions. Crawl Space Houses.E.C.. Huang... R. SCM4-83.. Detroit. 302. 1987.C. Radon Reduction in New Construction: An Interim Guide. Falls Church. A. American Society of Heating. B. EPA-87-009. 50 pp.. National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP) 1984. 1986. D. National Forest Products Association (NFPA) 1987. Investigations of Soil as a Source of Indoor Radon.4. D. Inc. V. J. Y. 107th edition. Scolow. Council of American Building Officials 1989. Illinois. Worksheet for Selection of Optimal Foundation Insulation. Procedure for Determining the Optimum Foundation Insulation Levels for New. Wilson.G. Christian. Pt. R.. 1. Washington.. ASHRAE 1989b.G. March.. December 4-7. Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality. September..V. NFPA. ORNL-6487. EPA 1987. August. 93.. and Nero. Shen. May.” Technology Review. Michigan. 96 pp. Washington. Atlanta.C. D.T. Orlando. A.E. Sextro. Hawthorne. A.L. Radon Reduction Techniques for Detached Houses: Technical Guidance.2P Draft 89-1. Gadsby.R. Permanent Wood Foundation System.. Washington.. and Air-Conditioning Engineers.J. Hubbard. Small Homes Council/Building Research Council. L. Properties. Low-Rise Residential Buildings. V.1R-80. Sterling.. W.. Georgia. K. 1988. September.. Refrigeration. 1987. Dudney. Univ.. Census 1987. Bohac. ASHRAE Standard 90. Design. R.A. “The Indoor Radon Story. American Concrete Institute (ACI) 1983. 8 pp. Georgia. ASHRAE Standard 62-1989. 1989. L. 1987. Statistical Abstracts of the United States. of Illinois. R. T. Virginia. Michigan. 1988. Conference on Thermal Performance of the Exterior Envelopes of Buildings IV. 1986. 1980. J. Page 109 .. Harrje. 1987. Moed. Draft. Florida. Circular Series F4. ACS Symposium Series Radon and Its Decay Products Occurrence.H. 1989 Edition. United Builder’s Foundation Handbook States Environmental Protection Agency. D. 20460.A. Building Foundation Design Handbook. Nero. UrbanaChampaign. U. R. Matthews. W. Christian. 1988.References American Concrete Institute (ACI) 1980. and Health Effects.. 46 pp. Strzepek. Labs. 1989. NCRP Report 78. Carmody.L. American Chemical Society.S... C.J. EPA/625/5-86/019. J.. Model Energy Code. The Council of American Building Officials.M. Atlanta. S.. K. American Society of Heating . 1989.. D. Parker. ORNL/Sub/ 86-72143/1. Detroit. K.: National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements. ASHRAE 1989a. March.W. Guide to Concrete Floor and Slab Construction. EPA 1986.L.. January. and Air-Conditioning Engineers. Revzan. D. 1988. Evaluation of Occupational and Environmental Exposures to Radon and Radon Daughters in the United States. Fabrication and Installation Manual. 1987.

67-69 Dollar savings. 64-65 structural design. 78 Depressurization. 45. 79 C Caulking. 74-75 Builder/subcontractor markup. 82. 67 Brick veneer. 53. 71. 54 B Backfill. 104-107 Costs. 20-23. 37. 67-69 Concrete foundation wall details. 45-46. 104-105 radon control techniques. 18-19. 31-32. 35. 42-43. 11-15. 38-42. 55-58. 72-73 insulation placement. 105 Checklists. 21-23. 63. 31. 18. 97 Cost savings. soil gas. 17. 37 structural design. 67. 96 Cooling system SEER. 65. 30. 70-75 Control joints. 18-19. 46-47. 43. 36. 40-41. 31. 33-37 details. 21-23. 75 Assumptions used in insulation analysis. minimizing. 32 Anchor bolts. 31. 20-23. 89-90 Collection system. 17. 82-85 Downspouts. 20-21. 43-44 Decay control. 43 vents. 11-15. 31-32. 7 Construction details basement. 35 insulation. 62. 93. 44-45. 35. 47. energy. 31. 106 unconditioned basement. 81. 16. 48-54 slab-on-grade foundation. 31-32. 31. 18. 24-32 crawl space. 65 Drainage systems. 15. 62. unvented. 4-7 Details. 53. 57 vented vs. labor/material. 16. 53-54. 20. 66 Ceiling insulation crawl space. construction basement. 44-45. 42. 9. 67 Cooling degree hours. insulation installation. 18. 56 termite/wood decay control techniques. 61-62. 92. 63. 17. 55-58 details. 28-29. 33-37. 63. 18. 43-44. 45-46. 39-41. 21. 93. 67-69 Design decisions. wood. 60-62. 84-85. 43. 41. 63-64 . 65-66. 38. 7. 40. 43. 35. 70-75 Discharge system. 45. 24-32 crawl space. 25-26. 21-23. 31-32. 54. 86 Crawl space checklist. 86 Costs. 31-32 termite/wood decay control techniques.Index A Air management. 32. 31-32. 53 Basement checklist. 16. 48-54 drainage/waterproofing techniques. 21. 66-69 Air space. 54. 48-54 slab-on-grade foundation. 53-54. 14-15. 75 Page 110 D Dampproofing. 38. 62 Concrete shrinkage cracking. 51-54. 53-54. 58. 15. 43-44. 53-54. 89-90 Cooling load factor coefficients. 17. 41-42. 32. 10-15. 58 structural design. 53 insulation. 39-43. 49. 75 Construction costs. 57. 18. 15. 16. 46-47. 91-92. 24-32 drainage/waterproofing measures. 34. 76-79 Climate data. 86 Building permits/plans. 36 Bond beams. 41. 6365. 106 radon control techniques.

45. 44-45. 16. 31-32. 91-92. 66. 60-62. R-TOTAL. 46-47. 63. 95 Horizontal insulation. 42. 18. 40-41. 75 L Labor/material costs. 42. 44-45. 63-65 Footing basement. 59-62 Reinforcing. 53-54. 86 Life cycle cost analysis. 72-74 insulation. 64. 53 Flame spread/fire retardant. 56 slab-on-grade. 14-15. 88 R-VALUES. 64. 45. introduction to. 40-41. 44 energy savings. 40-41. R-BASE. 53. 77 Formulas. 75 Porches. 1-7 Frost penetration depth. 43. 54. 63-64. 80-88 Loads. 64-65. 31-32. 97 R Heating load factor coefficients. 18. 86 R-values and costs. 86 Floor/slab. 20-21. 64-65 structural design. discharge. 65. 75. 31-32. 23. 41. 75 Moistureproofing. 66-69. 41. See Dampproofing or Waterproofing Mortgage rates. 79 Plumbing. 10-15. 45. 53-54. interior placement. 18. 53 Filter fabric. 31. 21-23. 66 H Heating degree days. 50.Drainpipes. 18. 107 See also Ceiling insulation. 82. 86 Masonry foundation wall details. 43 E Effective R-values. 65 P Paybacks. 7. 45. 8-9 basement. 97 Energy cost savings. 10-15. 43. 94 slab-on-grade foundation. 18. 53-54. 15. 53-54. 31. 62. effective. 7 Markup. 67 Polystyrene. 75 MEPS insulation. 43 Plans/permits. R-EFF. 41. 16. 82. Subslab insulation Isolation joints. 45. 64 Builder’s Foundation Handbook Page 111 . 31-33 crawl space. 6. 32. 53-54. 40. heating and cooling. 15. 58 Insulation general mitigation techniques. 67. 82. 53-54. 31-32. 93. 63-64. 88 Foundations. 11-15. 31. Radon 107 basement design techniques. 81. 28. 53. 97 62. 67-69. 14. 43. 20. 89-90 Heating equipment efficiencies. 75 Gutters. 61 M Market preferences. 32. 67I 69 crawl space design techniques. 63 F Fans. 41. 59-62. 75 Fuel price assumptions. 67 Duct/pipe insulation. 104-105 slab considerations. 18. 11. 39-43. 104-107 Piles/piers. 69 Fiberglass insulation. 45. 63 horizontal placement. 85. 60-62. 15. 37. 106 Rim joists. 94. 34. 62. 20-23. 63. 75 Equipment efficiencies. 75 crawl space. 11. 31. 38-42. 31-32. 79 configurations. 94. 16. worksheet. 60-62. 46. 37 collection/discharge systems. 94. 32. 53. 32. 31-32. 20-21. 43. lateral/vertical. 42-43. 27. 62. 16. 15. 38-42. 40. 104-107 EPS insulation. 18. builder/subcontractor. 19. 58. 61. 98 G Gaskets. 32 Grade beams. 62. 63-65. 75 Gravel bed/layer. 31-32. 71. 97 Expansive soil. 31. 75. 16. 11. 61-62. 41. 107 installation costs. 16. 104-107 exterior vs. 21-23. 82.

75 Wood decay control. 63-67. 79 structural design. 60-66 Soil. 94. Expansive soil. 36. 94. 70-75 drainage/waterproofing. 32. 98 Seismic design considerations. foundation. 78 Slabs. 31-32. 107 radon control techniques. 44-46. 31. 64-65. 100-103 X XEPS insulation. 44 Surface drainage. 18. 33. 53-54. 43-44. See Air management. 20. 32. 63 Shrinkage cracking. 73-75. Wood foundation wall Waterproofing. 6364. 31. 36 crawl space. 66-69. 65-66. 36. 45-46. 89-90 Weep holes.S Scalar ratios. 67 Welded wire fabric. 53 slab-on-grade. 57 slab-on-grade foundation. 104-106 structural design. 75 Site considerations. Radon Vents. 17. 82-88 Underfloor/underslab insulation. 53. 78 Ventilation. 31-32. 16. 53. 85. Masonry foundation wall. 78 Wood foundation wall detail. 75 W Walls. 67. 32. 63. 107 V Vapor retarder/control basement. 75-76 Slab/wall joints. 18-19. 34. 31 crawl space. 22-23. 21-23. 61-62. 47. 61-62. 55. 79 Sitework. 35. 57. 31-32. See Radon Stack pipes/effects. 107 Sumps. 94. 59-62. 67-69 Standpipes. 6566. 43-44. concrete. 16. 32. 82. 17. 57. 31. 75. 30 insulation. Crawl space. 18-19. 42. 38. 20-21. 58. 63-64. 18. 39-43. 75. 43. 77 termite/wood decay control techniques. 75. 75 T Termite/wood decay control. 35. 67. 6 Site inspection. 16. 31-32. 67-69 Subdrainage. See Backfill. 54 Page 112 . 23. 11-15. 63-64 Weather data. 22-23. 18-19. 63. 53 Subslab insulation. 47. Frost penetration depth Soil gas. 76 Slab-on-grade foundation checklists. 16. 16. 45. 65-66. 75 insulation. 76-79 details. 45 Worksheets. 19-20. 65. 4546. 73-75. 53-54. 37. 31-32. 75 Sill plate basement. 78 U U-DELTA. 63-65. minimizing. 80-88. 17. 43-44. See Concrete foundation wall. 91-93. 35.

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